I have to take a brief moment to walk down memory lane here in what has truly been the greatest blessing of my life. I met Brian in February of 1994. I still remember what I was wearing the day I met him, I still remember what HE was wearing the day I met him. I remember exactly where we were and exactly the position he was sitting in at his desk, in his cube, in the State of Tennessee office building. He was wearing an olive greenish suit. (I will spare you - and myself - the embarrassing details of what I was wearing. I was only 23 so I'll just leave it at that, but let's just say that I was NOT wearing an olive green suit... but I think a banana clip might have been involved somwhere.) He had one leg propped on the other and his hand was resting on his knee, and I was immediately attracted to him. I am a hand person. I notice people's hands. I have always been attracted to guys, or not, based on their hands. And when I saw Brian's long fingers, his awesome hands that day, I was immediately interested in knowing more about this cute guy. I still love his hands.
I'm a country girl, I grew up on a farm, I never wore shoes until I left for college (I even went to the County Fair barefoot one time... ewwww), my dad is the Marlboro Man incarnate. I was raised in a Southern Baptist church where people who didn't think like us and believe like us were suspect. I had only met one Catholic in my entire life before I left home. I was 4-H'er of the year in 1984, for goodness sake... it doesn't get much more rural life America than that! I grew up going to rodeos and playing in the barn.
Brian is a city boy. He won't even walk across the yard barefoot and he hates it when our kids leave the house without shoes too (though to me, it often seems pointless.) Brian's parents grew flowers in their back yard around the pool. He went to Catholic schools from Kindergarten through undergrad. (There wasn't even a private school in my town, much less a Catholic one.) Brian's parents live on a golf course, my dad can shoot deer out his bathroom window, and in fact, has done so. Brian grew up playing little league games, going to the arcade, riding bikes in the neighborhood, and doing other citified stuff like that. I doubt his school even had 4-H, heck, his county probably doesn't even have an extension service, being a metropolitan county and all... there's probably not a farm in his entire county, other than the one near the prison where we used to walk the dogs. :)
Brian's family has memories of vacations to Florida. My family didn't take vacations, but we went trail riding with our horses where we often slept in the front of the trailer or the loft of the barn. Brian grew up going to college basketball games with his grandparents, I grew up spending hours on the fence of the hog lot watching the baby pigs that my grandparents had every summer. Brian's grandparents did have a garden on their Mississippi farm, but my grandparents plowed their garden with a mule and made their own soap.
Suffice it to say that we were not likely candidates for a relationship, much less marriage. Again, further proof that God has a sense of humor and a plan! :)
I wish I could tell you that I knew early on in our relationship that I had found a man who would be a caring and tender husband and the perfect father to our future children. But I am sorry to say that I was nowhere near that smart. I was 23 and wrapped up in myself and I can honestly say that God was simply protecting me from myself. If you could see the string of ridiculous choices in boys I had made before Brian, you'd understand. I think God went into crisis intervention mode when He created Brian and set him on a course to become my husband.
Brian has taught me so much in our life together. He is truly my best friend. When I see something new, visit somewhere I've never been, attend an event, or eat something tasty without him, the experience is always less than it could be if he were with me.
Brian has a joke that our marriage makes every year seem like two, but in reality, the years seem to have flown by for us. When I look around at our life, and everything God has blessed us with in 12 short years, I'm amazed at how quickly it's flown by. We've visited seven foreign countries together, almost every state west of Pennsylvania, owned multiple houses, been through job and career changes for both of us, and parented four kids. We've packed quite a bit of living into 12 years (and quite a bit of junk into our attic too.) But every moment of this journey has been better because I was sharing it with Brian.
Brian is an awesome dad. He doesn't spend his Saturdays on the golf course, he spends them coaching the boys or attending performances. He has given up pretty much every personal interest that does not involve our family or our children, and for that I am so grateful. He comes home from a 10 hour day at the office and he does whatever the boys want to do until they fall asleep. He has deep reserves of patience and energy and enthusiasm for them... whether it's pushing them on the swing, throwing the ball, or playing dinosaurs with Connor, he never says, "not now." ( I guess I can skip the Father's Day post I was planning now, huh?)
So, now that you're all gagging (or more likely, not reading... hello, are you actually asleep...) HEY, YOU, WAKE UP!!!! we can return to our regularly scheduled blog about nothing in particular. Happy anniversary honey, I love my life at the "Fun Factory."