Tag Archives: husband

birthday thanks

Today is my 26th birthday, and I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who wrote on my Facebook wall. Even if it was just the for the millisecond it took to type out the words, it means ya’ll thought of me, and that means a lot. It’s people who make life worthwhile, and that’s going to be true as I enter the next year of existence.

I’d like to give a special shout out to the special people in my life:

To my parents, who are two of my favorite people in the world, besides being my     parents. They model a fantastic marriage, are both intelligent, compassionate, curious, and funny. My mom, who gave me my love of books and the curl in my hair; my dad, who always believed in me and never made me feel any less because I was a girl; they are both inspiring.

To my brother, my younger twin, who never betrayed himself and what he was about even when his peers didn’t understand. He hid his own pain and fought his battle alone when my depression was the focus in the family, and came out strong and never bitter. Here’s to over two decades of inside jokes, weird childhood stories, and wordless communication that could only happen because we share a bear (brain).

To Erin, my best friend, who always accepts me just as I am, and teaches me how to be a better person. She is the most inspiring and humble person in the world, without a cruel bone in her body, and fights tirelessly for what she believes in.

To Lilly, my cousin, the girl with naturally-curly hair, who I played Barbies with when we were young, and now share political rants with over Facebook messages. She’s always been more of a sister to me than a cousin, we share the same intensity about life, and the same resting bitch face we inherited from our mothers, but ya know, bitches get stuff done, and she’s definitely getting stuff done.

To Brynne, from the peanut-free table in high school to bridesmaid in my wedding to teacher in Kenya. She always worries that she isn’t a good enough friend to me, but the truth is she’s like my sister in that we don’t have to talk a lot, I know she would always be there when I needed her.

To Hannah Rasmussen, one of the most intense people I’ve ever met, who is going to do the kind of things that the world notices, and I can be like, “I know her!” She loves Jesus more than anyone I know, and it overflows to everyone she comes into contact with.

To Lauren, the first friend in Oregon. She grabs life by the horns and teaches me how to have fun. She and Jason welcomed me and Chris into their lives so quickly and warmly, I’m so grateful for their friendship.

To Kelia, the kindred spirit I thought I lost, who is always ready to talk out boy issues and laugh at random Instagram posts I send her. Even though we’re super far apart and I can only see her through her cracked phone camera, I feel like she’s right in there in life with me.

To Ronny, always cool-headed and calm, but full of an inspiring energy and sense of justice. She’s amazing at her job, always insightful, and always ready with a “Parks and Recreation” reference.

To Jess, with the artist’s heart, and like a crouching tiger, has a hidden dragon inside. She is always fighting to be able to do what she loves, and going out of her comfort zone. She’s grown so much since I first met her years and years ago, and whenever I see her, I will start crying at some point, because she invites vulnerability and honesty.

And last, but certainly not least, to Chris. I know we’ve had some really rough times, and we’re still braving the storm, but I’ve only grown to love you more and more. You bring out the “me” in me, and I want to be the best version of myself. I love the life we have, the tiny moments like getting ready for bed and knowing Yoshi is going to start licking your pillow, and you turn it over; or watching a TV commercial for a new burger, and you’re going to make a “yum” noise; your kindness, and respect for every human being you meet, your willingness to always make dinner when I’m working…the list goes on.

 

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Cold

Despite what the calendar tells me, winter is indeed here. I can tell because I now wear sweatshirts to bed and hats that cover my ears when I’m sitting inside. Baxter suddenly decides that I’m his best friend though I suspect he is just using me for my body heat, however limited it may be. My fingers cramp up when I’m typing or reading, and my feet are constantly cold, no matter how many layers I put on them. I dread working out because it means I have to leave the warmer region of the couch and go towards the porch door to my yoga mat, where the cold air seeps through and hugs me like an overenthusiastic church-greeter.

Going outside is like opening a freezer door; the air smacks you right in the face. It takes 10-20 minutes for me to feel the car’s heating system and I can finally unclench all the muscles in my body. Chris, who somehow is always warm, becomes less of a much-loved husband and more of a necessary heating pad that I must maintain contact with at all times, even (or especially) if it means invading his personal space.

I love the Christmas season, but for some reason, this year feels like the coldest year I’ve ever experienced.

Why I Am Not My Husband’s Helpmeet

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How about no

Being in an evangelical/Christian environment for most of my life, I was always familiar with the term helpmeet, or helpmate. It was what a woman’s role in a marriage was supposed to be, if she was a “Biblical” woman. In conservative circles, it usually meant staying at home to raise children, learning to cook, clean, and so forth. In more progressive dialogues, it could also mean going to work to support the family, full-time or part-time.

Even when it’s lived out in a more “feminist” way (going to work), I have major issues with term “helpmate.” It literally sounds like the phrase “helping your mate.” You’re telling me that the whole purpose of my life is to “help” a man? Even if I go to work and put the kids in daycare, none of it is for me, it’s all to further this God-given mission that my husband has been set on? I was created to “help.”

This cannot be true. It contradicts the rest of the Gospel and what we know about God. He creates people for specific, unique, and individual purposes:

Psalm 139:16
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

It also doesn’t make sense given God’s track record with women and their purposes. Jael killed the general of an enemy army rising against Israel, Deborah was a prophetess and the highest authority among the ancient Hebrews, Rahab negotiated for the lives of herself and her family with the Hebrew spies she hid from execution, Esther was the queen of a pagan nation and saved the Hebrew people from extinction, Mary gave birth to the Messiah, Lydia funded the early church independently with her wealth…these women were not assisting any man. Would anyone dare ascribe the word “helpmate” to any of these women?

No person is just a prop in another actor’s story. “Helpmate” isn’t even a good translation of the original word. Most translations don’t even use that word anymore, they translate it as “companion.” The word describing Eve, the first woman, is ezer. It appears 21 times. It appears as a description for God and the help He gives to Israel.

Deuteronomy 33: 26

There is none like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to your help, And through the skies in His majesty.

So, a woman is designed to help a man in the same way God helps His people. That is not a role that should be looked down upon, or squished down to fit into a strict list of rules. The concept that woman was meant to just help man on his big life’s purpose and not have her own thing going on is actually explained RIGHT IN THE NEXT CHAPTER. After Adam and Eve sin, God explains that their lives will not the same now.

Genesis 3: 16

To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

Patriarchy. Right there. The result of the fall was patriarchy. To adhere to the belief that women are meant to submit beneath their husband’s commands is adhering to a sinful hierarchy that God didn’t establish. He made Eve to be a companion, equal to man. It even explains why the word “ezer” was originally translated to just “helpmate;” the society it was translated in was a patriarchy and would not like women getting the idea that they should be on equal footing with men.

So that’s why I am not my husband’s helpmeet. He does not “lead our household.” So then who does? God does.

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This is slightly off topic, but it really bothers me when people say that feminism has switched the roles and that women actually dominate men now. First of all, in what area of American society is that true? Seriously, name one field or area of media that has more women or men. And now, what area of the GLOBE is that true? There are women in some parts of the world that are fighting for a right to DRIVE A CAR. I also don’t trust statistics and surveys that ask men how they view equality. In a study recently (I looked online for forever looking for the original source because I read it a while ago, can’t find it, but it’s real), when there ratio of women to men was about 30-70, men saw it as equal, but when it was truly 50-50, men perceived that there were more women than men. Society has conditioned us so well to view inequality as “normal,” that our perception on equality is warped, especially when men are told over and over again that women will take over and make things worse for them. If a man and woman are up for the same job, and the woman gets it, a lot of men (not all) will become bitter and say it was just because she was a woman. Maybe it’s because she was better qualified than you or any number of totally legit reasons. The man is under the false impression that he was “owed” something.

Just because someone is being given more rights  than they’ve had before, or even just the same rights as you, doesn’t mean you’re losing your rights.

Silly Gooses

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Our first photo together // November 2011

I knew Chris and I would probably be stuck together when, on our second real date, I was stabbing the ice cubes in my water with a straw and looked up to see him staring at me. His expression was dreamy, as if I was the most perfect thing he had seen. That’s when I knew he had already fallen in love with me.

He loves the little things about me, the oddities, and that’s what I love about him, too. We play these night word games for hours, just lying in bed, games like “The Weirdest Movie Cast Ever,” where we just say stuff like, “Starring Angela Lansbury, Sean William Scott, and Meatloaf.” Or, if we’re really tired, we’ll just say words that rhyme – “Blame.” “Flame.” “Dame.” – until we run out of rhymes. We constantly quote snippets from our favorite TV shows or just speak in sounds, like Furbies. If people could see how weird we are when it’s just us, they would probably question our ability to function in civilized society.

This kind of goofiness is what keeps me happy during my more depressive days. Chris can always make me laugh. It’s pretty impossible to stay super low when your favorite person is doing a spot-on impression of John Goodman or Robert de Niro’s face
(it’s the frown-smile look). Not that Chris is just a piece of silly string when I’m crying about the hopeless of life; he knows when to be serious, but he also knows how important humor is for me when I’m sad. Humor is also something I employ when I’m sad, to deflect my negative feelings. I’m always able to make my psychiatrist laugh.

Whenever Chris and I have made each other laugh hysterically for a while, we always say the same phrases. It’s one of our ways of saying “I love you.”

“You’re a silly goose.”

“YOU’RE a silly goose.”

 

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Take A Look At What I’m Eating: The MN State Fair

ImageI’ve been to the Great Minnesota Get-Together maybe four times in my life. When I was little, I would have hated the heat, crowds, and would no doubt have gotten something gross to eat like deep-fried cheese curds and been horrendously sick. Now however, being older and slightly taller, outdoor crowds are not quite as terrifying to me as indoor crowds, especially when I’m not expected to interact with anyone on a social level, and the fair grounds are big enough where I can find a place to escape if need be. This year, Chris and I went later in the day when it was cooler and we had a very specific budget and mission: eat as many different foods as $40 can buy.

ImageMini Cinnamon Rolls from Cinnie Smith’s

These are soft, gooey, just the right amount of cinnamon, warm, fluffy, and bite-size. The cream cheese frosting comes on the side and had a nice little whipped tang to it instead of being sickly, slimy sweet like a lot of frosting. I wanted more.

ImageLemonade and Gizmo from Gizmo’s

A gizmo is a mixture of beef and Italian sausage on an Italian roll, which is then topped with cheese and toasted, so the cheese is all melty. This was Chris’ choice as I did not want to have a heart attack this early in the fair, delicious as a gizmo looks. Chris smothered it in ketchup and mustard and got an icy lemonade on the side. I did have a bite, and it was like a hamburger and a hot dog in one. High-quality fair food. 

ImageDouble Bacon Corn Dog from Campbell’s Flavored Corn Dogs

This is a new vendor. They also have Jalapeno and Sweet Corn. Chris’ was a hot dog wrapped in bacon and then deep-fried, and then topped with crumbled bacon. He was very excited. I tried it and the bacon does add a nice smokiness and crisp since corn dogs can sometimes be too mushy.

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Chocolate-Dipped Cheesecake at The Strawberry Patch

This was not planned. I was debating between this and hot fudge with strawberries when I thought, “Hey, I can make strawberries with chocolate at home and not pay eight bucks.” So I got this. It’s frozen. The chocolate is good, not Magnum-bar good, but better than most chocolate ice cream coatings. The cheesecake is awesome. I gave Chris a bite and he kept asking for more until we just broke it in half.

 

ImageDeep-Fried Banana Split from Ole & Lena’s

At this point in the game, I was getting tuckered out. I was full and sweaty and my legs kept sticking together. Chris’ sweet tooth was not satisfied and forged ahead to this impressive dessert. It’s a banana deep-fried with strawberries in a sweet dough pocket that tastes like bananas foster without the rum, smothered in strawberry sauce, with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream and peanuts. There is no hot fudge which I thought was a grave mistake. The strawberry sauce made the dessert a little too sweet for me, but I do love a deep-fried banana.

ImageGrilled Marshmallow, Banana, and Chocolate Sandwich at Mojo Turtles

Chris agreed with me on the chocolate front so of course his instinct was to find something that did have chocolate. We passed this vendor earlier and Chris had glimpsed the sign “Chocolate Sandwich” and kept wondering out loud what it could be. We went to find out. We waited a good fifteen minutes because we think they either forgot about us or someone stole it, which seems unlikely since we were standing right there and all anyone else was getting were smoothies and coffee. This I did not try because I was sweet-toothed out, but it looked delicious and marshmallow-melty with powdered sugar all over it.

ImageAustralian-Battered Potatoes at Australian-Battered Potatoes

Even though I was not hungry, I needed to get the sweetness out of my system so I decided to try something potato-based. Some nice hot chips with cool sour cream sounded great. I figured I would get a little plate of fries and be on my merry way, but they hand me this massive plate. I manage to eat like two chips (which are as long and wide as my hand) and they are delicious. I carry the rest, Australian-flag waving proudly, across the fair to the car so I can save them for later.

So that was MN State Fair 2013. Chris is passed out right now after working at his radio station booth since 8am this morning on top of a 56-hour work week. I’m so thankful that he was willing to go right back to the fair with me this afternoon after his shift and experience the fatty goodness. He’s the best fair food buddy I could ask for.

 

 

Food to the Body, Food for the Soul

ImageI have a confusing relationship with food. I love it, but it doesn’t always love me. I can’t eat red meat more than once a week or I start getting chest pains, foods high in fat or oil make me sick, and artificial sweeteners give me terrible stomach cramps and insanely itchy skin. It’s unfortunate for a person who loves hamburgers, onion rings, and the new Sparkling Ice drinks.

So I’ve had to adapt. I eat mostly chicken, wheat bread, yogurt, and cereal. I loooooove cereal. I would eat it for every meal if I could.

I haven’t always been so methodical about food. When I first went on medication, my appetite was suppressed. All food tasted like ash. It took a lot of focus to eat and to eat anything besides sweets. My body had grown silent and refused to tell me when it was hungry and what it needed. After several medication changes and six years, it has awoken and although it’s a little more sensitive than before, we essentially understand each other.

Now that I’m married and primarily responsible for making the food (Chris is the dishwasher), the new challenge is summoning up the energy to think of and prepare meals. If it was just me, I would eat an assortment of random things for a meal (vegetables and dressing, toast with an egg, etc), because it takes focus and time to put together a coherent dish. However, it’s not just me. It’s me and a 26-year old man who can eat a whole pizza by himself and was raised on the hearty meals of the southern Midwest. He needs food.

It’s weird to think about the appetite of another person. Sometimes it’s really stressful. If I’ve had a particularly bad day and haven’t been able to move a frozen chicken breast to the fridge because I’ve been asleep all day, I worry about what Chris is going to eat. Even though he is perfectly happy with his meal, I don’t like seeing him making three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when I had planned on coconut chicken and rice. Other days, it’s extremely fulfilling. I’ll pull myself together and make an inspired sloppy Joe recipe with brown sugar, zesty Italian dressing, and chili powder, and watching Chris eat three of them is food for my soul. I never thought I would take pleasure from cooking; I even rebelled against the idea because it sounded too close to submitting to a life of “a woman’s place is in the kitchen.” In practice, it’s not about that though. Chris loves food and so to be able to make something he likes makes me feel good about myself. It’s also a tangible accomplishment during a day that otherwise seemed pretty pointless.