Monday, December 30, 2013

8 Years

It's the eighth anniversary of our wedding  And in honor of that, I wanted to mention some things I just love about the husband I've got.  I have been thinking about them for a while, and I wanted to think of some unique-to-the-guy-I've-got ones.  So, I didn't include them in the list, but certainly I also love how Greg is a wonderful father, faith-filled man, good provider, etc, etc.  The standard ones are all totally relevant, but here are some special things I love about my boy:

1) He does voices.  This is particularly my favorite thing when he is reading children's books.  When we were first married, I was the nursery leader, which means I was in charge of the 1.5-3 year olds for 2 hours every Sunday for a few years.  Greg would come in and help me when he didn't have other commitments.  The kids (who called him "the other Sister Ashcraft", by the way) loved when he came in, because he would read to them, and do all the voices.  If you haven't ever heard him read a children's book, you are missing out.  This skill also comes in handy when playing games such as Cranium that have an impression component.

2) He is a morning person.  I am NOT a morning person.  (In the mornings, I am actually a little mad that morning people exist.  I'm terribly grumpy in the mornings.)  However, I really appreciate it in my husband.  I know people who switch off sleeping in on the weekends, and I'm not embarrassed to admit that if I had to wake up with my kids (who really aren't even unreasonably early risers, comparatively) every Saturday, I would be a much less kind human in general.  My sweet husband lets me sleep in pretty much every single Saturday we don't have something going on.  I love love love it.

3) He drives everywhere.  I really don't enjoy driving.  Any time we are going somewhere as a family, there isn't even a question, he hops in the driver's seat and takes care of it, just because he knows that I don't want to drive.  When we went to Utah in September, we split the drive there about 60-40 (because we drove overnight, and due to the previous section, he is not at all a late night person, so he drove as much as he could, which was still more than half), but the drive home was about 80-20, him of course taking 80% of the driving.  He doesn't particularly love driving (he is fine with it, but it's not his favorite thing or anything), and he drives all the time just to be nice to me.

4) He is the best gift giver.  We often joke that he can never surprise me; if I were to guess what he were going to give me for my birthday or Christmas, I can almost always guess exactly the gift.  I don't know if I've ever told him why I can always guess with exactitude: because he always gives me exactly what I would want, if I could pick my own gift.  His ears prick up anytime I mention something I would like, even in passing, and he remembers until it is time to give me a gift.  Even if I haven't mentioned anything, he ends up giving me something that I didn't even know I wanted, but upon his explanation of why he thought of it for me, it is completely thoughtful and something I would use.  As a not-great gift giver, and with gift-receiving anxiety (I can explain, but I won't here, because it's a little weird and obnoxious, and I'm working on it), I am so impressed with his gifts, including the little ones.

5) He is musically inclined, and we are musically similar.  I read this quote by Linda Ronstadt (I know, random/weird, but I like to surf wiki when I'm up in the middle of the night, which I often am lately, with the babes) recently about why she never married.  She said that she would find a great guy who just couldn't inspire her musically, or she would find a musical genius who was sort of a jerk, but she could never find the combination.  While I imagine musical chemistry would be much more important to someone like Linda Ronstadt than it is to me, after reading that quote, I started thinking about how nice it is that Greg and I enjoy a lot of the same music.  While I have a soft spot for the occasional Top 40 song that he doesn't always share, we very, very often like the same songs.  What's more, he is talented musically, which of course sends me over the moon.  I fell in love with him while basically being a groupie for his band while in high school (if he were writing this, he would want me to make sure you know I am talking about a rock band, and not THE high school band, which, by way of information I was actually in), and his musical talent will always be one of my very favorite things.

6) He puts people at ease.  You probably know that I'm a totally high strung ball of nerves.  If you didn't know, you probably see me with my husband a lot.  Because he makes me feel calm.  I think the best example of him putting me at ease would have to be the fact that I went to many high school dances with him, where we danced and enjoyed every minute.  Isn't the rule of high school dances that you can't dance, or at least have to have a healthy dose of self-consciousness if you do?  Not if you are with Greg.  Because he is having such a nice time not worrying about other people, that it is just impossible not to enjoy yourself.  Also, I have seen him be friends with someone who doesn't have a lot of friends time and time again, because even people who don't like a lot of people really like Greg.  Because he is likeable!

7) He makes me laugh.  I know I said I wasn't going to do the standard reasons, and I know that "sense of humor" is about as standard as you can get, but I had to say it because, really.  He makes me laugh.  Out loud.  Every day.

8) We are compatible.  By way of disclaimer, I should point out that I don't necessarily think that serious compatibility is the number one requirement for a happy relationship.  Nor do I think that compatibility comes strictly from having either similar or complementary options on things.  But, that in mind, I love how compatible we are.  We dislike different chores.  We like the same movies.  We listen to (lots of) the same music.  We laugh at the same jokes.  It makes it easy to have a nice time together. 

Love this boy.  So glad to be celebrating 8 years.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Family Picture Sneak Peak

Everyone always takes the picture of the family walking, and I suppose it is because it is supposed to be natural, although I must say I have never naturally walked down the train tracks holding hands all in a line (we usually hold hands in pairs, so as to be less of a walking barricade).  So, while I might usually laugh a little at the stereotypical family picture pose, I have to say, I like this one of my sweet fam.  We had our family pictures taken recently for our Christmas cards (if you suspect you are not on our Christmas card mailing list and would like to be, please let me know; I imagine you know what we look like and what we are up to, if you are a regular blog reader, but I personally like to have a tangible card that I can post up in my family room with the other cards, so I am keeping the sending of the cards tradition alive, at least for now).  Our photos were done by the talented Judy Cook, and here are a few of the shots (that didn't make it onto the card).

The colors in this photo.  I die.

 Judy's specialty is newborn shots, so she used a couple of her props and snapped a few of Hannah.  She is five weeks old here.

This guy drove me crazy the whole shoot, winning the prize for least-cooperative (he kept opening his mouth as if he were taking an enormous bite of something every time we told him to smile.  OH, the little turkey!), but all that is just a memory when you're looking at his sweet face.

With my girls. 

Charlie is his daddy's number one fan.  He wouldn't move to the assigned location for the group picture we were trying to take, because he wanted to stand next to his dad.  So, she just took the pictures with him where he wanted to be.  Flexibility: the key to dealing with the five year old.

At some point, Judy finally just told Felicity to open her mouth all wide, so at least they would be matching, since Charlie wouldn't just smile.