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2008 Birthday Dinner

2008 Birthday Dinner

Happy Birthday to my adorable husband!

Twenty-six years ago, a little red head was born in the suburbs of Chicago.  He found his love for Led Zeppelin from his dad as well as his love for playing guitar.  Who knew grounding in the form of guitar practice would still allow him to love it decades later!   What a clever idea…  I wonder if that would work on kids with homework, too? ha!

This little red head was born with the biggest imagination I have ever encountered, and it still exists 26 years later. (I am not even slightly exaggerating here.)  He has grown to love books, learning, Star Wars, and traveling and can make the most amazingist (and probably unhealthiest) peanut butter and jelly sandwich I have ever had.  I have never had to use a bib in my adult life until these came into mine.

And thanks to his mom making birthdays such a big deal, I have yet to have a birthday where he hasn’t done the same for me.  It’s been quite hard trying to top him on his birthdays.  Last year’s surprise party for his 25th came through without a hitch and was so much fun, so this year I’m not even trying to top anything – – just trying to make it fun and special.  So pardon us for being MIA if you try to reach us today… we’ll be out playing somewhere or eating lots of “homemade” Oreo ice cream cake! 

Jeff's Surprise 25th Birthday Party

Jeff's Surprise 25th Birthday Party

Happy birthday starshine!  I love you so much.  Thank you for making my life so entertaining and exciting.  Your love is so warming, and I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate you today.  I am so thankful that you were born.

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*Disclaimer – this is for entertainment purposes.  Consider this Fiction.*

Ever heard of Stuff Christians Like?  It’s an entertaining blog about church culture… I guess that’s how I’d put it.  I find it a humorous way to remind myself what the bigger picture is about Christianity, and it’s not about whether or not I play cards or making sure I’m not sitting in someone else’s unspoken reserved seat in the second pew on the end.  There’s similar websites like Stuff Accountants Like (the girls and I in Finance at work get a kick out of this, some things are so true!) and who knows what else. 

Anyway, with that humor in mind comes this exaggerated story told from a woman’s point-of-view.  It may or may not be based on an actual event.

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Have you ever had a “marital discussion” with your spouse in a room full of Christians?  The implications of this atmosphere go beyond more than what we realize… after all, the fight (come on, let’s call it what it really is) has already became a “discussion,”  because after all, Christian spouses don’t fight, but “talk openly” about issues while submitting and respecting one another.  No one here is interested in winning.

Or maybe it’s more like no one will admit it out loud.

Well, imagine walking into a gathering, and you and your spouse have been “discussing” the whole ride there.  According to you, he hasn’t listened.  And according to him, you are being too sensitive.  What a bad combination when the sensitive one needs closure in the form of understanding, and the non-listener needs closure, too, but by talking it out… to death.  The talker frustrates you, the sensitive one, by over analyzing things and repeating his side of the story, making it appear as though he isn’t understanding you at all, and you frustrate him by being hurt due to frustration and refusing to talk anymore.

So, in you walk into the gathering, “discussion” obviously not resolved.  But you both put on your smiles as one Greeter (yes, capitalized because everyone knows this is an office to be held in a church) after the other says hello.  Of course you answer “Great!” to all of their “How are yous?” Actors must really envy Christians and their ability to always smile, no matter the circumstance, and turn it on and off as if going in and out of character at the drop a hat.  Or in this case, handshake.

He, being the talker, intermittently brings up the “discussion” again, because he has not reached closer by completely talking it through to the length he feels necessary.  So in the corner, you quietly and with expressionless faces (hoping no one can tell what’s going on) “discuss” some more, only to be interrupted mid-sentence by someone who apparently noticed the two of you off in the corner all alone and felt the call of duty upon them to let no one go unnoticed.  You talk to this person for a few minutes, catch up on the weekend, then are left to your spouse to complete the sentence and “discussion.”

After a few minutes, an end seems to be met, and you two join the rest of the group as the gathering officially begins.  After opening announcements and prayer comes the fellowship meal.  Of course men let the women go first.  But in route to the table, he asks if you can step outside to talk, so you respectfully oblige, because you are to respect the man.  You go outside, talk for a few minutes, reach the real end to the “discussion,” only to turn around and realize that there is a clear view from the food line to the windows at which you were standing outside of.  Anyone that looked just saw you two “discussing” outside.

Both of you go back in and take the end of the line, you being a bit too paranoid that everyone and their potato salad saw you two outside.  To add insult to injury, immediately men start making light of a woman being at the end of the line behind a few men and then start asking you why you are there.  Luckily enough, another woman comes along after having taken a bathroom pit stop and lands in line next to you answering their question on her own behalf.  Alibi obtained, and you stay just below the radar, silently associating yourself with the same lady and excuse.

It’s funny, because as frustrated as you might get for the lack of privacy, in the corner or outside, if the tables were turned, you’d be doing the same thing – – trying to establish peace and relational harmony with everyone in the room, no matter what the cost.  After all, Christians have a reputation to maintain, and in that brief moment you forget that you, too, fight.  Yes fight with your spouse.  Oh the joy of a selective memory. 🙂

*Disclaimer – this is for entertainment purposes.  Consider this Fiction.*

Last weekend, Ash and I had a group of friends over to our apartment to eat pizza and play some games. We haven’t had people over very much since we got married, but that will hopefully change when we move (which is all my wife talks about these days – you’d think we were pregant – but we’re not… definitely NOT…).

Attendees included: our neighbor Joe (who thought he was a half-hour late, but had the wrong time in his head and actually showed up 30 minutes early), Ash’s colleague Zach and his girlfriend Tracie, my old work buddy Adam, and Chris and Colleen (our friends who live down the road that we do not see often enough).

We ordered several Papa John’s pizzas and had the guests bring side dishes, which included soda, green bean casserolle (random, I know, but oh so good), fresh veggies and dip, and the best dang banana pudding you’ve ever tasted (I mean, even God would be impressed with this stuff).

After a few slices of the Italian Meats Trio and more than a healthy amount of liquidous heaven (i.e. the pudding), we let the games begin. We started with a couple rounds of MadGab (click here to play it online, it’s fun), which was more than amusing and then moved into a very LONG game of Balderdash. I love this game, because it’s the only game I know where dishonesty is rewarded and the more complex vocabulary you can use the better. Just make sure you don’t do what Chris did and try to pass off an alternative identity for the Silver Surfer to a couple of comic book geeks.

Joe reigned victorious in Balderdash, coming just ahead of Ashley in the finish line. Before we knew it, it was 10:30, and we were kicking people out of our home, so that we could get a decent night’s sleep before another busy day.

Sunday, we attended church. Ash got a break from playing the bass and had a chance to sing for the first time in awhile. We stayed for the service, but skipped out on Sunday School to drive down to Alabama to see my sister Marissa in the play Holes. It was an interesting choice (it was a movie and popular book) for a theater production, but we love seeing her up on stage no matter what. She’s becoming quite the young actress. After that, we visited my parents for an early supper, played with my baby brother Patrick (who’s not so much of a baby any more), had a nice heart-to-heart with my other sister Nikki, and headed back home to Nashville.

This weekend will be a fairly lax one, which will be a nice respite before I leave town on Sunday for Georgia and Ash has the whole apartment to herself for a few days. I’ll probably bring a few games with me on my trip and try to work something in while I’m away, because… everybody needs to have game nights.