Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Way We Actually Are

Three weeks into our marriage, this is the conversation that ensues:

Brad: "Sweetie, I need to tell you something."

Me: "I know last night's dinner was horrible! I'm sorry!"

Brad: "No, it's not that. The meal was fine."

Me: "How was I supposed to know that it takes longer than 5 minutes to thaw chicken? No one ever told me that before!"

Brad: "Karen, focus. It's not the meal, ok?"

Me: "And really, I thought the stuff that was luke-warm was actually pretty good. The flavor was nice, don't you think? So you couldn't cut through the middle of it, big deal, right?"

Brad: "Let me know when you're finished."

Me: "Oh, sorry. Was there something you wanted to say?"

Brad: "I accidentally bought a computer today."

Seriously. Who accidentally buys a computer? Three weeks into a marriage? When both of the married people are students? Working three jobs between them?

That'd be me and Brad.

And the thing is, it was hilarious. I wasn't bothered at all. I thought, sweet, now we'll have a nice computer! But this little story nicely illustrates our lives. Spontaneous. Chaotic. A wee bit unrealistic. And we wouldn't have it any other way.

We spent our first two years of marriage finishing school at Central, and after graduation (where we got to walk together which was really cool) we started looking for jobs.

(Cue dramatic music for THE PROBLEM)

Being a west-side girl, I was not at all keen on the idea of moving to Boise, which is where Brad is from. Brad, being from Boise, was in NO WAY going to move to Seattle, so we were at a conundrum. After going round and round, we finally decided that we would move wherever the first job was offered.

Yeah, I totally got hosed on that.

We went to the job fair in Tacoma where gazillion of districts were represented, and while I schmoozed all the west-side schools, Brad made a beeline to The Pasco School District. Once they found out he spoke Spanish, they literally started doing backflips in the Tacoma Done and my fate was sealed. The district offered Brad anything and everything to get him to come to Pasco and it turned out to be more than we could refuse.

Although I tried.

"Seroiusly Karen, they're willing to pay for my Master's degree, and I get my own classroom right off the bat. They're going to have elves deliver me donuts and hot chocolate every morning and they've promised me a ride on the next shuttle. We'd be stupid not to go there."

So we did.

In July we moved to Richland. Four days before school started, I got a job teaching Kindergarten. A week after that we got a dog. And two weeks later we found out I was pregnant.

Cause that's how we roll.

With the birth of Spencer Reid, I thought we had invented parenting. We ROCKED at it. Here was this child, eating, sleeping, and pooping right on schedule, who was completely gorgeous and well behaved, and I'd look at other mothers and think "what's your problem? This mommy thing is a cinch."

Spencer was perfect, in every way, from day one. Kind, polite, thoughtful, incredibly sensitive and I knew that I was made to be a mommy, cause look at how GOOD I was at it.

And then the girls arrived.

And Crazy took over our house.

Hannah Marissa's arrival was great in the beginning, but once she was, I don't know, two months old, I realized that life with her was going to be like going to war. Everyday. With an oven mitt and a trowel as weapons.

She's independent. Yes, that's it. And strong-willed. And stubborn, and maddening, and feisty, and sassy, and gorgeous, but still. I have long joked that Hannah's looks will get her through life because she is a big old ball of Crazy.

But again, we wouldn't have it any other way.

Fast forward to Sienna Grace, who is EXACTLY LIKE HER SISTER. (Seriously, we suck at making girls.) After being hospitalized TWICE during my pregnancy with her, I should have known that I was in for Hannah 2.0, but I really thought I had worked my kinks out on my first daughter. Nope, still suck at parenting girls.

My biggest problem with both of the girls, and this may shock some of you, is that they are EXACTLY LIKE ME. Which is why we butt heads. And why I spend a lot of my days dreaming of my very own padded room. And why I love them so fiercely.

Brad as a husband is unbelievable, but Brad as a dad is a force to be reckoned with. He is amazing. He is perfect. Tough when he needs to be. Loving all the time. Fun and silly and stern and fantastic every single day.

I married him because he was the man of my dreams. I didn't know he would be the father of every child's dream.

My kids and I are so incredibly blessed.

(Come back tomorrow for the final installment of Brad & Karen: Navigating The Mess We've Created)


krisnkrew said...

This was great Karen. My Tyler is too much like me and we butt heads all of the time! It makes it hard to be a parent when your children act too much like you! :) Love the stories!

Marilyn said...

Karen, this is a beautiful post. Seriously brought tears to my eyes.

Jessica said...

What a great post, I was laughing at the "accidentally" buying something, I have had that exact conversation with my hubby!

My daughter, Tia, is in Hannah's preschool class, she said they played together a little bit and she was her new friend. I thought that was cute!

Sarah said...

Hannah sounds a lot like Kendle. I think girls nowadays are going to need to be a lot more independant and strong willed just to withstand the way the world is though. Brad sounds like a funny guy, accidentally buying a computer. HA!

Tharker said...

I will never tire of hearing the computer story. Spencer "accidentally" bought a TV once. Or was that twice?

You do not suck at making girls. They are exactly like you, yes. But that just means that they will turn out to be FANTASTIC women who care with all of their souls for the ones that they love. So give yourself a pre-emptive pat on the bat for raising such wonderful girls! And Spence...well, we all know we'll be seeing him in General Conference one day!

We love your family so much and are so glad to call you such dear friends!

Tharker said...

On second thought, don't give yourself a pat on the bat...give yourself a pat on the BACK!!!!

Heather said...

This is awesome, I hope you are scrapping it to show the WORLD in print!

Brooklet said...

Maybe all husband's accidently buy expensive items, because i have heard that one before.

I love your last paragraph where you I didn't know he would be every child's dream- you are such a talented writer to capture the emotion just right!

Kim said...

I was going to say the same thing as Brooke. That paragraph that says you married him because he was the man of your dreams not knowing he would be the father of every child's dream gave me goosebumps!! That is so awesome! These have been my favorite posts of yours. I love hearing stories like this!

Melissa said...

I laughed so hard at your "accidentally bought a computer" that it brought hubby out of the last Harry Potter book to ask what was going on! :)
I've got a child who is just like me. It's my mom's fault. I'm not sure how many times she put the mother's curse on me, but it's all rolled up into one little girl...

tarantula411 said...

Great post! I wanted to keep reading. I can't wait for tomorrow's installment!