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Here’s What I’ve Been Up to For the Past Year

Posted by Carol on December 8, 2010

Obviously, it hasn’t been writing.

My last serious (by serious, I mean more than a few words) blog post was around this time last year. I have found that the busier I am, the harder it is for me to write even though it seems the opposite would be true. If I’m busier, it would be logical to think that I have more to write about.

However, I have found that when my brain is full of  “stuff I need to do” the creative section takes a back seat to the busy section. If I don’t have much going on in my life, the creative stuff has room in my brain to grow and develop into ideas and a story or blog post.  Is it like that for you, too?  Or am I just weird?

Wait, I think I already know the answer.

My lack of writing would mean that my life has been very busy and full since moving to Colorado in July of 2009. And that’s a good thing, but I miss writing and I miss you. So, it is my intention to start writing this blog again. Here’s hoping anyway.

Ok, back on topic – what have I been up to?  Hmmm, let’s see…

In the fall of ’09 I got my Colorado Real Estate Broker license. You can read about that here and here.  I loved it when I first started and I still love it. All in all, I am very happy with how my first year in the business has gone. I have a fantastic mentor who is generous, honest and wise. She is teaching me so much more that I would have learned on my own this year. I am happy to be working with Keller Williams Realty. It is a real estate company whose founder, CEO, and president are Christians and run the company on Christian principles.  I am working on getting a couple of professional designations to keep up my education and help me serve my clients better. And I even have a few transactions under my belt!

On the family front, Darling Daughter left for her freshman year of college this past August making Dear Hubby and I empty nesters. I was a mess when College Son left in the fall of ’07 – so much so that Hubby was very worried about what my mental state would be when my baby left. After all, she was just in kindergarten last year.

But I surprised both of us by mostly being ok with the whole empty nest situation. I think it is easier the second time around, but I attribute it to the fact that Hubby and I are in a much better place in our marriage than we were in 2007. And that is a very good thing!

As hard as it was to leave our friends, church, and home in New Jersey after we had lived there for 10 years, I am loving life in Colorado. We live very close to my husband’s brother and his family. They have become our dearest friends here. I just love their kids (it helps with the empty nest thing) and my sister-in-law is the absolute best! My mother-in-law lives nearby, too. This is the closest we have ever lived to family our entire married life of almost 25 years. And to be completely honest, while it does have its challenges, I have to say that living near family is better than living far away. 

 Also, jumping right into real estate almost as soon as our last box was unpacked, forced me out of my comfort zone and opened the door for me to meet many, many wonderful people both in and out of the real estate world. I tried (unsuccessfully) to start a business networking group, and even though it didn’t take off the way I’d hoped, I am very thankful for the contacts and friends I made through that attempt.

So that’s really it. That’s what I’ve been up to. Nothing really earth shattering or super exciting, but I am thankful and happy and look forward to our second full year in Colorado.

And I look forward to a new year of blog posts 😉

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Posted in College Son, Darling Daughter, Dear Husband, family | 1 Comment »

What do you get a man who has everything?

Posted by Carol on February 16, 2009

My husband is a wonderful man. He works hard and he plays hard. He is a loving son, a good friend, devoted father and husband. He is admired by those he works with and liked by everyone who knows him.

Of course, he’s not perfect. He has his flaws, as do we all, but he has one flaw that stands out a little more than the others.  I have known about this flaw since we were dating and I married him anyway.

What is this glaring flaw, you may ask?

He loses things.

In the 22 years we have been married, he has lost 3 wedding rings. Well, in his defense, one was stolen out of a locker at a gym (but still!).

Early in our marriage, he lost his car keys so often, that our neighbors in the apartment across the hall got him one of those car key locator key chains.  All he had to do was clap his hands and his key chain would beep, telling his the location of his long lost keys.

He has lost his cell phone, numerous watches, his Blackberry, his wallet, his laptop (twice!).  Most recently, he left his laptop in the Phoenix airport after going through security. We live far, far away from Phoenix.

However, I believe our problems have been solved by my husband’s very creative administrative assistant.

Hallelujah!

Last Thursday was Dear Hubby’s birthday, and this is what P, his assistant gave him:

phils-birthday-2009-002If you look closely, you can see there is a velcro strap for everything he could possibly lose need.

phils-birthday-2009-0061View from the back: Now he will never misplace his laptop again!

It’s pure genius I say. I think we should get a marketing department on this right away and give the Snuggie a run for its money.

Posted in Dear Husband | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

I wasn’t going to say anything, but…

Posted by Carol on December 11, 2008

today is my birthday and look what Dear Husband did!

birthday-flowers-002They look even better in real life.  I didn’t plan on making a big deal about my birthday on my blog, but I wanted to thank Dear Hubby for making my day and being so sweet. I love you!

Posted in Dear Husband | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Just Keepin’ It Real With a List

Posted by Carol on August 6, 2008

As I am sure you are all fully aware, August is here.  Although I am loving the warm summer days, and the longish daylight hours of this season, August is bittersweet to me this year for several reasons. 

They are:

1.  College Son is not 100% sure he does not want to go back to the evil college that took him over 1777 miles from home last year.  He has not withdrawn yet, and we have paid no tuition anywhere, so he very well could end up back there.  The ironic part is that I think it may be the very best thing for him to do.  We discussed it at length today, and even as my heart started aching thinking of him leaving again, the words coming out of my mouth were all the reasons he should probably return.  He’s got some very good reasons for staying here, too, though.  He has to decide by next week. Edited to add: It looks like CS is staying in-state after all! 

2.  August means school will be starting for Dear Daughter in a few weeks.  (Sigh)  If you have been reading my blog since before the summer, you know that she has some, uh, let’s say, issues with school.  None of which are her fault and I’m not just being a protective mama bear.  We’re not even sure where she will be attending school this fall.  Her old school? Most likely not.  A different public school?  Maybe.  A private Christian school?  That would be my preference, but slim pickin’s where we live.  Homeschool?  Not the best choice for her for a number of reasons, but an excellent option if we need it.  So, stress?  Yes.

3.  Dear Hubby has been out of town for over a week and counting.  Yes, he has a return ticket home, so not to worry, but, GET HOME ALREADY! (sorry for shouting)

4.  We will be having a house guest next week whom I have never met. This person will be here for 7 nights.  I normally LOVE, LOVE, LOVE company, but this one has me praying for an extra serving of the Fruit of the Spirit in my life next week.  And that’s all I can say about that.

So, August this year, not so much my favorite month.  September might be looking better.  We’ll see. Here’s what I’ll be doing in the meantime…

I Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.” 

Good advice, I must say.

 

 

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Posted in College Son, Darling Daughter, Dear Husband, family | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Try Not to Feel Too Sorry for My Husband

Posted by Carol on May 2, 2008

My husband’s job requires him to travel quite a bit around the country.  Sometimes he travels to really cool places like California, Seattle, Florida, or Texas; and sometimes he travels to not so cool places which I won’t name so as not to offend any of the tens of people who read this blog. 

We miss him while he’s gone, and even though he has reached exalted status on Continental Airlines, which gives him some very nice perks when he travels, all the flying does get old for him after a while.

However, Dear Hubby left for a trip yesterday that we feel so bad for him about that we have actually considered starting the prayer chain at church just to help him get through it.  It’s rough, but he had to go.  Where, you are wondering is this awful place his company has sent him to? 

Hawaii. 

But, hey, when he’s this cute, how could anyone hold it against him? (Like the way I worked another picture into a post?)

 

~Carol 

Posted in Dear Husband | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

I believe I am now banned from the bike shop.

Posted by Carol on March 28, 2008

My husband is an avid biker. Or should I say bicyclist?  What I mean is he likes to ride bikes. A lot. Not the kind with motors, the kind that you have to pedal with your own two legs. 

For the longest time, he only rode mountain bikes.  I use the word bikes because somehow what started out as one bike for hubby in our garage has multiplied to… let’s just say more than one. I don’t know what those bikes do out there in the garage, but I don’t want to know because every time I look out there, it seems we have another bike.

But I’m rambling. 

Dear Hubby has wanted me to join him in his mountain biking adventures.  That’s very kind of him and great in a relationship-building, meaningful-time together kind of way.  There’s only one problem with that idea.  Hubby rides his mountain bike in places where no man has gone before.  He goes over logs, through streams, over and around boulders, and through pricker bushes.  He walks in the door after an afternoon of biking with his buddies with a big smile on his face and blood dripping from more than one location on his body and too many bruises to count.

Then he’ll say, “Carol, you have got to come with me next time.  That was a blast!”

Yeah, I’m convinced. 

Call me crazy, but one of my main goals each day is to keep all my body parts intact.   

Soon, much to his dismay, some of Hubby’s friends realized they were getting older and that it took them longer to recover from all their mountain biking injuries.  But rather than give up biking altogether, they decided to add another dimension to their biking experience.  They bought road bikes.  Dear Hubby was not at all happy.  He felt road bicycling is for wimps.  Or at least for those who like to keep all their blood inside their bodies. 

But Hubby quickly made a discovery.  His buddies who were roadies as well as mountain bikers, developed more stamina and did better at mountain biking than the ones who were not roadies.  Apparently, long uphill climbs on a road bike are very good for developing your leg muscles as well as endurance.

Not one to be left in the dust by his friends (I forgot to mention Hubby is a tad bit competitive),  he soon made the move to the dark side and purchased a used road bike to give it a try. And surprise of all surprises, he liked it.  I also noticed that he would come home from a road ride just as happy, yet without all the cuts and bruises. 

So, the next time he suggested that I take up biking, I said, “Sure, as long as I can get a road bike”.  He agreed and off we went to the nearest bike shop. 

Since Hubby is an experienced biker who does a lot of his own repairs, he is very familiar with bike components and for someone at his level of biking those things do make a difference. But for me, not so much.  I just wanted an entry level road bike that I could get used to and have fun while getting in shape. 

The very friendly sales guy in the bike shop showed me just that. It was an entry level bike just the right size and height.  I was sold.  Hubby was not.  He was unconvinced that I wasn’t picking the bike just because it was purple and affordable.  He wanted me to try one the next level up with a few more bells and whistles.  My mind was already made up, but to make him happy, I agreed to try another bike.

That was my big mistake.

The next bike didn’t fit as well. I felt awkward on it.  The seat was positioned at an angle to put your upper body more forward over the handle bars.  While Hubby and Friendly Sales Guy chatted about all things biking. I decided this was not the bike for me and attempted to remove myself from said bike.  Because of the strangely angled seat, my leg did not clear it all the way while getting off the bike and before I knew it, I and the bike were heading quickly towards the ground.  In my attempt to save myself and my dignity, I put out my left arm to break my fall. 

All I ended up breaking was my left wrist.

A trip to the emergency room confirmed that I would need to be in a cast for the next six weeks.  Since I didn’t end up with the purple bike, I chose a purple cast.  And for a while, I chose to feel very sorry for myself.

This took place on July 9th, 2007.  I wouldn’t be getting the cast off until the later part of August.  During the six weeks I’d be wearing my cast, we already had a vacation to a lake planned, but there would be no swimming or water sports for me.  Doing my usual activities one-handed was extremely frustrating, never mind painful for the first few weeks.  I soon found myself wishing for the time to go by quickly so I could just get this darn cast off and be back to normal.

The problem with that thinking was that on Aug. 12 our 18 year old son was leaving for college over 1000 miles away from home. So wishing away my time in my cast was also wishing away the last few weeks with our son at home. In order to  enjoy the last few weeks with our son, I had to accept my cast and actually embrace that time as a sweet time with our family because I knew things were going to change drastically when he left.
That experience taught me that, not only do I not really want a bike, but also that I need to be content in the here and now no matter what my circumstances may be.  So many times I am so looking forward to “the next thing” that I overlook what is right in front of me. Yes, some days are better than others, but they all are a gift from God.
Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!”
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Posted in Dear Husband, devotions, my "I Love Lucy" moments | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

The Story of Future Husband and Flirty Girl

Posted by Carol on March 18, 2008

A very long time ago, I was in high school.  And as I may have mentioned a time or two, I met my husband there.  (Well, he wasn’t my husband yet, but you know what I mean.) What I haven’t mentioned is that Hubby is three years older than I,  therefore, he graduated a few years ahead of me and went off to a college far, far away leaving me behind in high school.

Being young and immature, we pledged our eternal love and promised never ever to date anyone else while we were apart. It seemed like a good plan.  What I didn’t take into consideration was that while I was remaining in high school with the same old boys I had known pretty much since we were all in diapers, future husband was going off to a new land populated with a whole new flock of females. Did I mention it was far, far away?

Well, one of these females didn’t have much respect or consideration for the fact that future husband and I were in love and had plans.  As a matter of fact, she pretty much threw herself at future hubby.  She waited outside his dorm, she sat at his table in the cafeteria, and followed him wherever he went.  She asked him out constantly. I probably should mention at this point that Future Hubby was attending the same Christian college I mentioned here, so that’s all Flirty Girl could do without getting kicked out of the school.  For that reason, I am thankful for the legalistic Christian college we eventually both attended.

Future Hubby told Flirty Girl about me.  He asked her to stop following him around. But she didn’t stop. She was extremly persistent. Future Hubby also told me about the situation and I was none too pleased with Flirty Girl.  But, alas, I was far, far away back in high school.  What could I do but trust Future Husband? And stew about the situation constantly?

I was pretty ticked off at Flirty Girl.  I didn’t like her at all. You might even say I hated her.  Who did she think she was and what gave her the right to stalk my Future Husband?  What had I ever done for her to have so little regard for anyone else’s feelings but her own?  I allowed myself to entertain these thoughts and felt pretty justified and self righteous in my anger towards Flirty Girl. 

I did not turn to God about these things and I clung to Future Husband for my security when I should have been clinging to Jesus.  I let my anger fester.  I thought of all the horrible things that I wanted to see happen to Flirty Girl.  One day in the middle of sulking and wishing all kinds of plagues and pestilence upon Flirty Girl, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart as plain as day.

He said, “Don’t you realize that I love her just as much as I love you?”

That thought made me angry, and in my pride I responded, “You can’t love her as much as you love me!  I don’t treat people the way she is treating me!”

“Maybe so, but still, I do love her and I died for her, just as I died for you.  She is My child.”

Ouch. 

I had no response because He was speaking the truth.  Flirty Girl was His child and I was wishing evil upon someone that Jesus not only loved with an everlasting love, but shed His precious blood for.

That day changed me forever.  I no longer hated Flirty Girl.  I forgave her.  And I asked God to forgive me.  Flirty Girl was important to God, therefore, she should be important to me. 

I don’t know where Flirty Girl is today.  I do know who Future Husband ended up with, though.  But I will never forget her and the lesson God taught me through that situation. 

There have been other “Flirty Girls” in my life.  Those who are hard to love or whose sins seem worse than mine.  But in reality, I was no better than Flirty.  She had the guts to let me know exactly where she stood, while I was just self righteous and proud.  Sin is sin and we all fall short of the Glory of God. 

Like the woman in Luke 7:47 who loved much because she had been forgiven much, I pray that I will have God’s perspective of sin and of all of us sinners.

Posted in but seriously, Dear Husband, devotions | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

They say it’s your birthday!!

Posted by Carol on February 12, 2008

Today is my husband’s birthday.  Poor guy had a dentist appointment where drills and Novocaine were involved, but he should be feeling better in time to have his birthday cake made from this fantastic mix from Williams-Sonoma.  And yes, I did buy it with my one day employee discount.

So Happy Birthday, DH!   I won’t say how old you are because I know how much you hate that, but I sure am  glad you’re one year older than you used to be!

I love you!!

~Carol

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I MUST learn to be more aware of my surroundings….

Posted by Carol on February 10, 2008

Last night Dear Husband and I went out to dinner with some friends from out of town who were visiting NYC for a few days. 

The way our booth was positioned, we were sitting in a semi-circle. DH could see all the people coming into the restaurant as they were being seated. I had a view of the windows as did my friend. Her husband could only see the backs of the people as they walked by our table to be seated.

About 3/4 of the way through the evening, a group of about 5 people walked past our table.  I barely noticed them since we were having such a good time laughing and talking with our friends. 

Just as the group passed our table, DH said, “Was that Jennifer Aniston that just walked by?”

We all looked quickly, but all I could see were 3 women with long blonde hair with a guy in front of them and the waiter behind them. 

DH said “The first guy was definitely security.  I’m sure that was Jennifer Aniston.”

I truly did need to use the restroom, so my friend and I excused ourselves from the table and on the way to the restroom, we just happened to walk by the private room where this group had been seated.  Wouldn’t you know that “Jennifer” had been seated with her back to the door and all we could see were her “friends”? (sorry, I had to say it!)

During the ride home, I told DH that it would have been nice if he could have said something about 10 seconds sooner so the rest of us could have seen if it really was Jennifer or not. He apologised, but said he was so stunned to possibly be seeing Jennifer Aniston that he couldn’t talk for a few seconds.  🙂

I can’t blame the guy, but he should be kind of used to seeing famous people by now.  He has seen Dick Van Dyke, Gene Shalit, Nicole Kidman, Harrison Ford & Calista Flockhart, Garth Brooks, Kelly Ripa & her family, John Travolta with one of his kids, Oprah Winfrey (I was there for that one and missed it, too) and a few professional sports guys at airports, movie theaters, restaurants, and hotels over the past few years. 

I have not been with him for most of these sightings, but for the few I have been present, I always miss it.  Always.

Oh well, I’ll settle for seeing Lysa TerKeurst, Big Mama, Boo Mama, Shannon, Marybeth Whalen, and some of my other  blogger friends IF I get to attend the She Speaks conference in June. 

Still hoping and praying to attend the conference,

Carol

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Can’t I just wiggle my nose and be done with it?

Posted by Carol on January 31, 2008

Some of you may remember the television show Bewitched.  It ran from 1964-1972.  I watched it as a kid – the later years of its run, thank you very much.  

For you young ‘uns out there, here’s the gist… Samantha (played by Elizabeth Montgomery) was a  beautiful witch married to a mortal named Darren.  For some strange reason, Samantha promised Darren that she would live as a mortal and never use her magic.

Each episode would bring some problem that forced Samantha to choose between keeping her promise to Darren or using her magic to remedy the situation. Of course, she would use her magic and then all kinds of hilarity would ensue as she tried to cover her tracks. When she did find the need for magic, she would not use a magic wand. Instead she would wiggle her nose. If a certain task required an exceptional amount of magic, she might also wave her hand. Somehow, Darren would always find about her illicit use of magic, but forgive Samantha as everything worked out OK in the end.

One of the more common scenarios was that  Darren – or Derwood as Samantha’s mother, Endora, sarcastically called him – would phone Samantha telling her that he was bringing the boss home for dinner and they would be arriving in a half an hour.  What a choice Samantha had.  She could either serve macaroni and cheese out of the box – or whatever the equivalent back in the 60’s was, or wiggle her nose and have the house cleaned spotlessly and a meal fit for Thanksgiving set on the table with fine china and candles.  Hmmm…..which one would I pick???? 

Well, my husband pulled a Darren on me.  He asked me Wednesday morning if I would mind if he brought one of his co-workers, who is out here from Chicago on business, home with him Wednesday night to stay in our guest room.  

“It’s OK if you feel like it’s too short notice,” Dear Husband assured me. “Mr. Co-Worker can always go back to his hotel after dinner.”  

Because of the logistics of his travel arrangements, he was staying in one city and driving three hours to meet my husband and his other colleagues for dinner.  So, if I said “no” Mr. Co-Worker would not get back to his hotel until very, very late.  No pressure or guilt at all about this decision.

Normally, I am very hospitable.  I love having guests and I love to entertain.  However, there are several factors that caused me have to think about my answer.

1.  I am now working almost a full time job (I just started Jan. 2).  The days I do work, I don’t get home until 7 PM which leaves me less time for house cleaning than I am used to. And Wednesday is one of the days I work until 7.

2.  I have never met this man before.  If he were a friend I would feel less pressure to present a “perfect” picture of our home since he would already know me and like me  – warts and all.  This speaks more to my insecurities than to the cleanliness of our home- therapy anyone?

3.  Mr. Co-Worker is a genuine, honest to goodness germophobe.  I’m serious.  It is well known among his peers that he packs Lysol and Clorox wipes when he travels and he sprays and wipes down everything in his hotel room.  I fear that staying at my house with kids and two dogs may be enough to send him over the edge with a nervous breakdown and I don’t want to be responsible for that.  Or, what if he started spraying and wiping down MY house. Hmmm…. maybe I should invite him to stay longer if he really enjoys cleaning that much.

Then there’s the side of me that says, “What would a true Proverbs 31 woman do?”  She would do her husband (and his co-worker) good.  She would rise up before dawn to clean her home and care for her family.  She would not leave a poor traveling germophobe to drive 3 hours in the darkness to his cold, lonely, Lysol sprayed hotel room.  No!  She would tell her husband “It’s fine. Bring him on over”.   

So that’s what I did. To Dear Husband’s credit, he had helped me clean the house over the weekend.  All I have to do is touch up the bathroom, vacuum, put clean sheets on the guest room bed and make sure no germs enter our house for the next 24 hours. Sounds easy enough. I may also try wiggling my nose.  It couldn’t hurt.

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