Thursday, February 21, 2013

a weekend in carolina: the cold and the warmth

there was an afternoon this weekend when i tried my best to pull weeds from the flowerbeds in front of the house. i dug my nails into the earth only to find tiny slivers of ice and a frozen ground. it reminded me that we are still very much in the middle of this carolina winter. when days can turn from pleasant to blustery in the instant that wind picks up your hair and cuts into your chest.

but there was another afternoon when sunshine cut through the pasture near our house and spilled into the brick floor of the sunroom and reminded me, soon. soon there will be dirt to churn for the garden and honeybees in the backyard. there will be lights strung from the shed and suppers on old picnic benches. there will be sundresses and bare legs and feet, and entire evenings spent listening to music on a blanket by the clothesline.

mama taught me never to rush things. to not wish away days and write too many things on my calendar in anticipation. so i'm trying to appreciate these last few weeks of cold. the early mornings by the coffee pot and the nights spent wrapped in blankets by the fire with heavy socks on. soon enough, summer will raise her heavy head and coat our little corner of the world with thick heat and i'll wish for these mornings where my little honda creaks under the shock of heat running through its veins after a night spent in a cold garage.

oh, the foreshadow of hindsight. such a delicate little oxymoron she is. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

marriage and partnership: or grab your own towel

welcome to week 2 in our marriage series! this week's topic is "marriage and partnership." be sure to check out gina and morgan's blogs today for their thoughts, and do share yours!

when i first started my blog, i went away for a long weekend and asked my sweet friend dacia to guest post for me. she wrote about five things she's learned about living together with  your loved one. one thing she said stuck with me for its simple, honest truth: grab your own towel. she wrote:

How many of us have jumped in the shower only to realize we’re out of soap, shampoo, or have no clean towel waiting for us on the hook next to the shower curtain? How many of us then shout out across the house (still in the shower) to our significant other for these things we forgot? 

i thought about that sentiment this morning when preparing for my post about marriage and partnerships. because i find myself falling into that rut so incredibly often. for me, it takes the form of socks. i'll be in bed, toasty and warm, and robert will be right beside me under the covers, and i will innocently ask him to get out of the cocoon, place his own feet on the cold hardwoods and walk to the dresser to get me socks. or when i'm on the sofa, watching nasvhille, and i ask him to bring me some chestnuts (my new obsession). and bless his heart, the boy never complains. and i can probably count on one hand the number of times he's asked the same request of me.

but being partners means doing these things for our spouse. rising before the sun because the dog is pawing at the covers in that way that you both know means he needs to go out. making supper over the stove even though the day has been long and you need the night to be short and quick so the whole thing can be done with. bringing him a glass of water in bed. running my bathwater.

but it's when these things are expected and sought after without consideration that the partnership begins to weaken, and when the surprise of a sweet deed begins to carry less of its beautiful weight. because yes, being partners means carrying the person, sometimes. picking them up and physically, spiritually and emotionally trudging through the murk and gorgeousness of life together. but it also means knowing when, for the health of the relationship, to let him down to walk by himself. not in front of you or behind you, but right smack-dab next to you, for as long as you both shall live.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

on marriage and friendship

 hey guys! i'm teaming with gina from contemplating beauty and morgan from mama loves papa for another marriage series! this week's topic; marriage and friendship.
 only a true friend would do this with me. bless his heart.
the first time i spoke to robert face-to-face was on our first date. he was wearing a buttercup yellow polo and had just washed his dad's car. his hair was combed to the side and my entire family was waiting in the den for him to come pulling into the driveway. he shook my dad's hand and my mama jokingly grilled him on a scandalous story she'd heard. something about his rolling a house. and putting a lawn mower on a roof. and driving the slowest and easiest-to-recognize getaway vehicle possible: a volkswagen vanagon.

i didn't know him at all. didn't know how he liked his steak, or what he did after school. didn't know that he had a brother and that his father was a pastor. i didn't know that he had an affinity for instrumental piano music and was a highly decorated boy scout.

but i learned those things. i learned all of them over the course of our dinner date. and i've kept learning.

sometimes (quite often, actually), i turn to robert and say, "i think it would have been cool if we were friends first. like, just hanging out together, then one day, you looked at me and saw the woman you'd been searching for." instead, it was full-blown romance, from day one. case in point: all his friends call him rob, or robbie, but i absolutely can't. not for the life of me.

but right up there with romance and kisses and butterflies and stars, there is a rock-solid friendship between us now. because there has to be. you have to actually like the person you're married to, as crazy as that might sound. because love is truly magical and life-changing, but there's something to be said about just laughing with him. sitting in a room watching the bachelor on a monday night, not even really speaking, but just being truly, completely comfortable in the weight of a dark room together. saturday lunch dates. secret handshakes.

so yes, we didn't start out as friends, but it's been a heck of a journey learning this man, and finding that after all, our souls are the same, and that's a constant truth. one that was born the day we were. and every stumbling block, heartbreak, rude boy, ridiculous girl, and question we ever had led him to my doorstep on august 30, 2003. and BFF was just a natural progression from there:)

what are your thoughts on relationships and friendships? any tips? do share! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

a saturday morning thought

there was a time this weekend when robert and i were driving in town on saturday morning. it was too early to be up (robert is the only person who could convince me of the delicious, soul-strengthening power of sleeping in on saturday morning. that pocket of perfect nothingness), but there we were. cruising down main street with the early birds, meeting my parents and sister for breakfast.

and i had a sort of early memory. a happy sort of sadness that comes with the realization that life is so fast. that one day, this family will look incredibly different and that's neither a necessarily bad or good thing, but an honest one. it reminded me of a time, riding in the back of my parents' van, that i looked up at the people sitting in the rows before me and thought to myself, remember this. remember your sister in middle school and your brother with the shaggy hair and skateboard. remember your mom and dad as laughing and young and pretty. and remember yourself as happy, in the backseat with your book.

we've added some people to the van in recent years, and lost one incredible man. and leaving them that morning, driving back home to get  back into the covers, i realized that the journey is really the best part. and there will be changing faces, and spaces. and shifts and swaps. and big gigantic leaps out of the car. but there will be forward motion, and that's the beautiful part about it.