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)