Sunday, August 19, 2007

Catching up

First of all, thank you for all the congrats on our anniversary. Ethan was impressed with the blog-- dare I say misty eyed? He really appreciated my writing skills, often mentioning he couldn't come close to my prose (though I'm sure he would still clasify my English degree as "financially useless"). When I asked "where is my blog with fabulous things about me?" he asked if he could give me a spreadsheet instead. Gotta love him. He conveniently hasn't given me my card either. I'm thinking he is worried that his card will come nowhere close to my blog (which ofcourse it won't) but I STILL WANT MY CARD THAT IS SUPPOSEDLY IN HIS TRUCK. Ok--and if he is reading this, if I don't get the card, I will do a post about the 8 things about you that drive me insane!!!

We went to dinner at a local Italian place for our anniversary. I love we can put Ryan to bed, then go out. Not sure what happened the rest of the week.

Our friends from San Diego were here this weekend. We went to San Francisco on Saturday and Ryan stayed the night at grandma's so we got to sleep in today. YIPEE. We gave them a tour of the town, so that took about 2 seconds. Ryan took a very short nap today so by about 5:00pm Ethan and I were losing our patience with the little man. We put him to bed at 6:30 and he was asleep by 7:00. I'm hoping the early bedtime will be enough to counter-act the bad nap and we'll be good as new!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy Anniversary

8years ago this evening, in Modesto, California, we were married. 8 years is alot, but we've actually been together for 15 years. We've grown up a lot together. When you know you've got a good guy, you need to hold onto him. I'm glad I knew that at 17...I saved myself a lot of trouble. There are many characteristics about Ethan that make him a great husband, so in honor of our anniversary I thought I would highlight no particular order.

1. Ethan is a family guy - He doesn't mind sacrificing for his family. When we moved back home it was for the family. He sold his dirtbike because he would rather spend weekends with Ryan and I. He had $ saved up to buy a corvette, but sacrified that so I could be a SAHM. Ethan puts a lot of time into the family finances and planning for our retirement and Ryan's college. Because of him we don't live beyond our means. And still with all of his forward planning, he can concentrate on the "here and now" of his family. He has breakfast with Ryan every morning. They have daily wrestling matches. And its not just about our little family. We are in contact with his family and mine all the time. Moving here was the best thing for our family, and though we miss the beach, we have so much more here.

2. He is hilarious - At first meeting him you will think he is pretty quiet and conservative. But once you get to know him, he is truly funny. He makes me laugh everyday. Laughter was key for us in the first year of being parents. There were so many times I thought I was gonna lose it, but he could always make me smile. I love when he imitates Ryan or tries to sing a song he doesn't know the words to. And the stories...stuff he did as a kid cracks me up.

3. He is ridiculously smart - So smart that its annoying. We joke that he is "borderline genius." Apparently he was tested as a kid--whatever. He went to a great school (UC Davis) and studied hard ALL THE TIME. After living apart for over a year I thought it would be great when he was in Davis and I was in Sacramento. Wrong. He was studying all the time. I remember him complaining if he didn't get the highest score or didn't set the curve. Meanwhile I'm at my state college, feeling really dumb. I seriously think he was just born extra smart and his need for information just took him to another level. He is also practical and literal, which can be a bit irritating (ok...alot irritating). If he doesn't know the answer he will find out. And, his genius is not one-sided. Some people are "book smart" or "common sense" smart...nope, he got both. He can go on and on about thermodynamics (boring!) or something he saw on Animal Planet. He can fix a car, and design an entire computer program to test batteries or work with zinc fuel cells. He can put a sprinkler system in the backyard and do an hour presentation in front of PhDs about laser targets. That is my husband. I am lucky because if I say "can you fix this"...he usually can. But watch out if you ask him how something works. He'll start drawing...did I mention the pie graphs? And, I'm not the only one to notice this. In the past few months he's had two previous employers ask him to come back to their company. He is a good employee. He has a true work ethic. Ethan has even taken a sleeping bag and spent the night at work before, just to be there when a test finished. He spent nights out in the pouring rain, in the middle of nowhere, checking on a fuel cell.

4. He has never mentioned my weight - Ethan started dating a really skinny 17 yr old, and married a skinny 23 yr old. I'm now almost 32 and not skinny. I did have a baby almost 2 yrs ago, but that is no excuse. He has never ever ever said I was fat or needed to lose weight. I'm not sure I believe him or not, but he did say if I stayed this weight forever he wouldn't care. Nice to know. I beat myself up enough about my weight, I'm glad I don't have to hear it from him too. He compliments me almost everyday. I've realized (and its a shame) that most women don't get that from their husbands so I'm thankful.

5. Long ago he said it was fate - I'm not gonna argue with him now. Wether he was joking or not, he was spot on.

6. He didn't shy away from fatherhood - Ethan was in there changing diapers like a pro! He is kinda squimish, but there was nothing that was gonna get in the way of him seeing Ryan be born. I think it took him some time to feel comfortable when he was alone with Ryan, but he is a terrific dad. He has turned into Ryan's jungle gym. Every Saturday morning they walk to the pool and park together. It is great to know he enjoys his time as a father, and its not a chore. He has so much more patience than me. Ryan is a lucky boy.

7. He doesn't hold a grudge - And I do, so thats good. He can get mad at me for something, and he's over it 30min later. He also doesn't yell...which again is good cuz I do. He has forced me to really say what I mean. I don't do it all the time, but I try.

8. He can cook - Be jealous ladies. Now, he usually only cooks on weekends cuz he gets home late during the week, but he doesn't mind it at all. He doesn't clean up which is a bummer, but he makes the best hamburgers! And he doesn't half-ass it like me. I just do an entree and I'm done. He makes side dishes! Lately, I've been cooking more and he has appreciated that, which makes me happy.

Those are just a few reasons why I have a fantastic husband. There are other things like when I said I wanted to buy the house across the street and told him to "make it happen" and he did; or how cute he is with our dog Nikki (his favorite); or when he let me pick my car and i chose a Passat, eventhough he knew it was gonna be a nightmare; the Friday nights he would stay up with Ryan as an infant so I could sleep; when he took me to Urgent Care cuz I punctured my foot and he had to remove the icky thing I stepped on; when he goes to cultural events with me and though he says he doesn't really like them, i secretly think he does, etc.

He made me a mommy, and for that there is nothing I can write to make him understand what that means to me. I would marry him again in a heartbeat. Happy Anniversary!

p.s. I said we would do a couple's blog for Dad Said..Mom Said. Surprise.
p.s.s. Happy Birthday Paisley!

PICS: wedding, prom, MORP, 8th grade graduation, 10th grade

How we met

Leading up to my big post tomorrow, in honor of our 8 yr wedding anniversary, I thought I would tell you all how we met. Give a little Brandi and Ethan history, then finally let Ethan read the blog. What a gift!!!

We actually met back in 6th grade. Since our last names both started with "A" our lockers were near eachother. I'd say we were friendly, but didn't hang out with the same crowd. I don't think we had any classes together in middle school, but I was the TA for his 8th grade math class. The funny thing is that I was grading tests for a class I was way too stupid to take! Then, in 1989 we sat next to eachother at our 8th grade graduation. Cap & the parking lot of our school. So tacky. I remember my aunts pointing at him and telling me he was cute. I never thought of him that way, and he had the beginning of a mullet so I'm not even gonna go there. He will tell you he was quite the ladies man at that time.

In highschool we were still friendly. We were lab partners in 10th grade biology. His girlfriend hated me! We disected things together, and he copied my homework and the teacher was "disappointed" in me...but didn't say crap to him. No other classes together. I ended up dating someone he worked with at Longs and our Junior year we actually triple-dated to the prom. Kinda weird to look at the pictures now. We managed to be around eachother from time to time, and he would say things like it was fate, and we were supposed to be together. Um...strange. He was a nerd (and he knows it!) and I was too busy being a ra-ra and dating a football player. I GUESS WE ALL LEARN.

After being friends for years, we both happened to be single at the same time. It was the week before school started, and we were there picking up our senior schedules. A group of us made plans to go to the mall later in the day. He said he would drive. When he came to pick me up he was alone. Everyone else mysteriously cancelled and off we headed. I was coming off a bad break-up and was trying to get back to normal. We had a great time together, eventhough he was amazed at my ability to eat a Carl's Jr western bacon burger combo. I was about 95lbs back then...

All I remember after that is walking through a store and we were holding hands. I was dating a friend--which really is the best person to date. That was August, 1992. We've been together 15 yrs this month, 8 yrs married. Never even broke up or took a break...not once. And here we are.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Vacation pics

Sorry, no rafting pictures yet. Did you really think I would have dropped them off yet? Come on. Anyway, they are just pictures of me in a terrible looking helmet that does not fit properly because I have the smallest head on the planet, and then pictures of the rapids after we went through them cuz you really can't take a picture mid-rapid...and the camera is tied onto Ethan's life vest. So...maybe they won't be that great. But here are some of us at the Oregon Caves and our hike.
Pic #1 - probably one of the best pictures i've ever taken
Pic #2 - us on a bridge, taken far far away, but that was the only place we could set down the camera and use the timer :(
Pic #3 - we are so boring even our trails have no name (and i kid you not, as a child i named a dog no name)
Pic #4 - stalagtites or mites...i didn't pay that close of attention on the tour
Pic #5 - me next to a stalagtite/mite
Pic #6 - Ethan and I (yes my hair is ALWAYS that flat and i don't know where the damn freckles came from)
Pic #7 - more stalags
Pic #8 - Ryan in my suitcase before we left

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Class 5 Rapids Baby!!!

We are back from our Oregon trip and had a fantastic time. We missed the little man to pieces (and yes, I might have called 2-3 times DAILY), but it was a great getaway for us. Ryan took 2 hr naps (which he doesn't do for me), slept through the night, and was his normal happy/tantrum toddler self. It really was nice to get good reports everytime I called. I'm hoping that means we are raising a well-adjusted little boy, who knows his family loves him, and can adapt to change. Or--he loves his grandma and aunt a lot! Still, its great to know he had a good time too. And that I probably didn't NEED to type of 3 pages of directions. YES, I'M THAT KIND OF MOM. WHO KNEW?


We left here around 11:00am. My sister had to take Ryan for a "walk" because he was very attached to daddy. I guess he knew we were leaving. We made it to Sacramento before it was time for lunch. Ofcourse we went to one of our favorite places, Dos Coyotes. Then it was back on the road. We talked, we laughed...and we listed to "Monster Ballads"...oh yeah, arena rock! There is nothing like a little Warrant, Poison, Cinderella, etc. to get you goin!!

We stopped in Weed....yes, there is a town called Weed in California, for gas and a bathroom stop and made it into Ashland around 5:30pm. We decided on chinese food and then a night out at the movies to see The Simpsons. The chinese food was terrible, but the movie was hilarious.


We had an 8:00am pick-up for our rafting trip. Not like we have ever needed an alarm since becoming parents, but we set the alarm for 7:00. We were both up around 5...thanks Ryan! Our matress was terrible and we didn't get a lot of sleep. The van picking us up was late, but we headed out around 9:00. I didn't remember the long, winding road trip from 7 yrs ago but it sucked. I tend to get car sick and I was in the back of a packed van. I was able to hold it together and we stopped at an inn for breakfast. Yummy scones. Then it was back on the road. I'm not exactly sure when we actually got into the raft. It was a nice, breezy day. What's great about rafting the Upper Klamath River is that the rapids are long, and most of them are in pairs so they come one after another. We hit some Class 5s that were awesome. The pictures were taken with a water camera so I actually have to go to a store and get them developed. Who knows when that will happen! Some of you might think Class 5s are no big deal, but our guide broke his oar. Yep...he is seated in a swivel chair at the back of the boat, a bit higher than the rest of us. It was one of the times he yelled "hold on" and he actually was thrust out of his seat, and then his oar broke. This was not a plastic paddle like we had, it was a real oar. It was such a rush! Not to mention, the scenery is beautiful. The lake is clean. No trash. So not Cali. We were so moved by the area in general we have talked about possibly retiring there, instead of going back to San Diego. We do miss the ocean, but being around trees for 4 days really got to us!

I think we got back to our hotel around 6 or 7, then had dinner at a great mexican restaurant. We were exhausted but it was so worth it.


We got up early (again) and made the 90-something mile trip to Cave Junction. The Oregan Cave Monument was really cool. We took the cave tour, which is 521 stairs total. Who says we didn't get a work out on vacation? The cave temp is about 44 degrees. Ethan wouldn't wear pants like I told him, and he wanted my sweatshirt. Um...No. It is an eerie feeling to be "stuck" in there, but really interesting. We can thank President Taft for making the cave a monument. Our guide was a bit weird, she went on and on about how she was crying earlier in the day and she was a theater major and was at a crossroads in her life. No relation to the cave whatsoever...just a sidenote. She was not a hippie, though Ethan thinks hippies are so entertaining!

Like 521 stairs weren't enough, we decided to do one of the trails near the caves. It was about a mile and so beautiful. Waterfalls, trees, just can't get better than that. Then we drove back to "town"(the cave is 20 windy miles out of the nearest town) and had lunch at a roadside diner. You know the type. We still had time to kill before the play so we walked around Lithia Park. The theaters are in the park, which is also near the downtown area. Then it was time for dinner and the play. I know this wasn't Ethan's favorite part of the trip, but the play was spectacular. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is known for their great performances and it was way better than any plays I've seen (and I've seen a lot). We saw Romeo & Juliet for the first time. The guy who played Mercutio was outstanding. I really do think its one of Shakespeare's best plays and the most easiest to understand.


It was time to say farewell to Oregon. We had breakfast at the Ashland Bakery & Cafe. I chose it because Rachael Ray went there on her $40 a day show. Yummy french toast...seriously. Really good. We got back home around 3:30 and went to my parents to get Ryan. My dad took the afternoon off work so he was there with Ryan. Ethan said I could go in first and get some "loves" cuz its all over once he sees daddy. Well...Ryan was sitting on the floor, watching Seinfeld. Odd since he doesn't watch TV, and he didn't even get up to say hi to me. Then Ethan came in...still nothing. Turns out he was pooping. What a greeting! Then he ran to Ethan, who was still by the door. He picked Ryan up and Ryan was playing with a lampshade. Ethan didn't know the lamp was on and BAM, burnt finger. For those of you that get his e-mail updates, you'll remember he burned 4 fingers in May when he plugged in the iron himself. Sigh. So, we had about 2 seconds of happy Ryan, then miserable for the rest of the day.

We are still trying to catch up around here. Ryan is no longer taking 2 hr naps...ofcourse. And, he woke up at 1:30am crying which is very unusual for him. I'm blaming the burn, or could be molars. But here we are...back to being mommy and daddy!