Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Sweet Husband

Do you know how much I love my husband? I do. A lot. Obviously, since I married him almost 4 years ago...can't believe it has been almost 4 years. Life has taken us many places since then and I look forward to the many other places it will take us in the future. (Maybe some places sooner than others...but that is another blog for another time.) I think when choosing a partner in crime er I mean a partner in life the selection process is sometimes daunting. You learn a lot along the way, but there are some tough lessons to learn as well. Luckily, those lessons guide you the rest of your life. I'm overjoyed to be married to Bivins and couldn't imagine life without him.

My husband, before he was my husband, probably had no idea what he was getting himself into with my family. The women of my family are a bit jaded about life in general although we try not to be, but it really seems inevitable at times. We are also staunchly independent from any man, but will if absolutely necessary call upon each other for help at any time of the day. We tend to be a bit critical of men in general and expect the worst from them. Secretly we hope for the best, but are not surprised when disappointed by them. My husband could probably go on and on and on about the crazy Frantz women, but being one of them I am oblivious to some of our insanity. My husband has survived the Frantz women and even managed to thrive among them. No small feat for sure. I distinctly recall a car ride during his first ever visit to the Frantz compound in which he was sitting in the backseat sandwiched between two Frantz women and there were to Frantz women up front -all talking at top speed in our own Frantz women language and he scrunches down, covers his ears, and starts rocking back n forth. (Mind you he was used to being surrounded by Marines 24/7 no girls allowed, lol.) Now 4 years later he feels like he has some wisdom to bestow upon males venturing into relationships with Frantz women...

His first comment was "dating a Frantz as your first girlfriend is like never having a cat and deciding to get a tiger."

His next comment was "you better know what you are getting yourself into and be able to deal with it because there is no 1-800-fix-a-Frantz."

I think he had a few other comments, but I was laughing so hard at these I couldn't hear him. My family loves this man almost as much as I do. He is my sisters' brother not brother-in-law. They rely on him just like they rely on me. I think maybe I am heeding my mother's advice to me on my wedding day...

Show them what a ~fabulous~ thing it can be when two people truly love and care for each other and want only the best for each other. Show them how to work through the difficulties and challenges that go along with “living with a boy”!! Show them that you can commit to someone and not lose sight of your own dreams and goals. Show them that you can retain your own identity while making your way as a couple with common goals. I’m counting on you to show them how to do this the ~right~ way; I’m counting on you to show them that you can make mistakes and forgive each other. I’m counting on you to show them that as long as a couple doesn’t lose respect for each other they can face anything. Don’t lower the standards; continue to strive for excellence for your sisters to see.

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July - 2009 Edition

Wendy's 1st year with sparklers!

This is a picture of me during my very first time playing with sparklers.

So in my previous blog did I mention how much I love the 4th of July? I didn't think so. I guess I better tell y'all again...just kidding. Instead I'll tell you how much fun I had this year. It was truly a special day, even if I did start out kind of grumpy and thinking I just might have to "go it alone."

My 4th begins at 10:30am when I rolled over and woke up. (Keep in mind my sleep schedule is a bit off kilter and I didn't go to sleep until 2am.) I woke up grumpy. Of course I did. I always wake up grumpy. Always. As my husband says "you wake up grumpy and stay that way until about noon!" Yes sweetie I do. Sorry. Just because it was the 4th didn't mean I wasn't going to be grumpy. Especially when asked about what time we will be getting things rolling for our 4th of July plans when I'm still trying to sleep. Selfish? Why yes I am. Irritable? That too. Sorry again.

My dear sweet husband wakes up ready to go. Always. And he rarely sleeps past 9am. Rarely. He was a super sweet guy on the 4th and made me blueberry pancakes. Thinking back it was really very festive. He made me a special heart shaped blueberry pancake. Even when I woke up grumpy. I love him.

After breakfast I made a batch of brownies. We had plans to go to American Village and meet up with some other wonderful families - the Postons, the Sharps, the Lowerys and I even glimpsed some Davis'. The plan was to eat a picnic supper and no supper is complete without a dessert. So brownies I baked. They were rather large brownies too. You see...what happened was...I started with one mix of double chocolate brownies. I put that one batch into a 9x13 pan. It wasn't even enough to cover the bottom. So I pulled out the reserve bath of plain brownie mix and added it to the pan. I baked it. For at least an hour because of course they were thick brownies. Then when it was time to cut them the trouble came. They were really hard to cut. So I decided to make short work of it and cut big squares instead of small ones. The end result was a brownie big enough to kill...or at least cause great bodily harm to someone who can't eat chocolate.

Fast forward a bit through the getting ready to go stuff and we arrive at American Village just in time-5pm. (I guess I should explain that I carefully planned this arrival time so that we wouldn't be there too long. And by too long I mean long enough that my husband was thoroughly bored and grumpy with too much time before fireworks. I was NOT about to miss fireworks.) So we arrive and walk around a bit. We spot the Sharps carrying their picnic stuff to set up and save a space to watch fireworks. We trek back out to the car and get out picnic stuff. Then we rush off to hear Patrick Henry give a speech. It was definitely a good speech. You may have heard it before....something about "give me liberty or give me death?" Then we went back to munch on some snacks. By this point it is about 6:30-7pmish and we decide to walk around and take some pics so I have something to post on my wonderful blog. We had fun being silly.

Finally we hear the pre-fireworks ceremony begin and we head back to our seats. We pause during the national anthem and we are facing the crowd. A crowd where everyone is standing and many are singing along. It gave me goosebumps I tell you. It is special days like this that remind me how proud Americans really are about our freedom and independence. Then the community band plays a few songs, one of them the 1812 Overture which always reminds me of evening parades at good ol' Marine Barracks Washington. (I really must make plans to see another one next summer.) We made it back to our seats in time to hear a local choir begin a medley of all the services' hymns. When the hymn of each service was sung any crowd members that were a part of that service were asked to stand and be recognized. It began with the army and those in the army just kind of stood there, next up was the navy and again the seamen just stood there any old way, then the coast guard (which the crowd was asking...what service is this? Oh, it must be the coast guard...) and a few stood, then it was the air force and again mere standing any old which way, finally it was time for the United States Marines and all at once *boom* they were up and all standing in the exact same position. I'm sure it has an official name, but I don't know what it is. They were at an attention like stance with their hands clasped in front of them. It made me smile. After that a few more songs were played or sung.

Finally it was time for fireworks!! It was a beautiful display and I truly enjoyed it. I thanked my husband several times for braving the traffic and crowd to take me to see fireworks. The children played with sparklers once the crowd cleared a bit. We made our trek to the car after the majority of the crowd had found their cars. Traffic was still a bit heavy so we waited some more and I was able to play with some of my sparklers. I'm pretty sure people thought I was a little silly playing with them, but I truly love sparklers and fireworks.

Here are some pics of our day:












We took about 73 pics on the 4th of July 2009. Wow.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Excitement & Anticipation

I have very slowly been counting down the days until the "best holiday ever" arrives. In case you're wondering what holiday that might be it is the 4th of July. I LOVE it. Love, love, love the 4th of July celebrations. (Coincidentally, my cousin Mandie also loves the 4th of July and is getting married tomorrow. Sadly, I could only afford one trip to Ohio this summer so I had to miss the wedding and see Katie graduate instead. I'll be sending happy thoughts and prayers to the newlyweds tomorrow.) Ok, back to the 4th.

As the 4th of July rolls around each year I reflect upon several things. I love the celebration of our country, our independence, and the men and women who fight to keep that independence for us. I love picnics, barbecues, red, white, blue, stars, stripes, and fireworks. And last but certainly not least, no 4th of July celebration is complete without sparklers! Sparklers are always so much fun. Fun fact: I am 27 years old and still do not light my own sparklers. In recent years (since I've moved away from my mother) my husband has had to light my sparklers for me. Strange, yes. I'm pretty sure you can watch me magically transform into a 5 yr old just by handing me a lighted sparkler.

To celebrate the 4th of July this year we will be going to a place called American Village. In a nutshell it is like a mini Williamsburg in the activities you can enjoy there on the 4th of July. I am thoroughly excited about going there. The thing I look forward to seeing the most are of course the fireworks. I can hardly wait. I have visions of pretty red, blue, green, gold, and silver sparkles in the sky. I think I could watch fireworks every day and still not get over how beautiful they are. I stare at them with wide eyes and an open mouth. (Yes, again I turn into a 5 yr old.) I'm hoping I remember to take lots of pictures of this year's 4th of July.

I've had so many fun 4ths all over the country. I think my best 4th to date was in 2006 when we lived in DC. My in-laws had come to DC to visit and surprised us by having Tyrone fly in as well. We woke up and went to watch Dave march in a 4th of July parade in DC. I, pale being that I am, ended up getting sunburnt during the parade. Then we went back to our apartment to cool off, shower, take a nap, and change clothes. That evening I was able to cross off "seeing 4th of July fireworks in DC" off my list of things I'd like to do before I die. It was a wonderful show. I'd love to go back sometime, but I think it may take an awful lot of convincing before I can get Dave to go again.

The second best 4th of July just might be the one spent in NC during summer 2007. We had Doc Rob, Combs, and Goodson (just some of "my boys") over to our house to celebrate. The 4th happened right before pre-deployment leave so the boys were stuck in town waiting to go on leave. We grilled out and the boys drank. Then we decided to get some fireworks and sparklers. Once those were done burning they found other flammable items to amuse themselves. It was truly a lot of fun and it made it more special to me because I knew that soon the boys would be gone for several months and I would be left to find some girls to help me fill the silence they left behind. Random Sidenote: If you watch videos of Marines being silly at home-not depoyment-there is typically a female laughing in the background. You never see her b/c she is the one holding the camera ;)

I have other random memories from past 4th of Julys...
Going to see fireworks in Centennial Park in Ohio with my gradma.

Making a sidewalk chalk drawing of people watching fireworks for the Jubilee celebration.

Watching fireworks in Centennial Park again with my cousin Lindsey and shouting "periwinkle" at the blueish purple hued fireworks. (Hmm. Good memory. I still have the urge to shout periwinkle when watching fireworks to this day.)

Sparklers in the yard, on the sidewalk, and in the center oval of grass in the driveway at the farmhouse.

Fireworks during Red, White, and BOOM in Cbus, Ohio. Super fun.

The Lands End catalogue cover that featured "Lands End" written in fireworks. It was amazing to read about how technically challenging it was to create the cover.

Bottle rockets and cherry bombs flying past my head in Megan and David's backyard.

So many fun memories. I can hardly wait to see what new memories I will create this year with my new friends in this new place. I wonder where I might be next year during the 4th of July? I'm off to dream of fireworks in the Nation's Capitol...