Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Better than wood or silverware

Seriously, who comes up with traditional and modern anniversary presents?

On the 26th, we celebrated our 5th anniversary. Now, as Jon and I are both romantics, our track record has not been very indicative of our feelings or commitment over the last 5 years. Our lifestyle just has not afforded much in terms of time, creativity, extravegance or sadly, romance. We've been two poor college students providing for a family of four. Money doesn't buy everything, the best gifts are free, etc. Yes, that's true. But we've pretty much exhausted the free or nearly free gifts over the last seven years. At this point it got to:

the night before our anniversary

Me: So, tomorrow's our anniversary! :]
Jon: Oh! oh, no! What are we doing?
Me: Uh, what?
Jon: We're supposed to be doing something for this one? Remember? Back in April, we decided that we would celebrate our wedding anniversary this year instead of our first anniversary.
Me: Oh. Oops.

We kind of dropped the ball on this one too.

We've talked for years about the grand ideas and schemes and plans we have for each other for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, etc. I'm hoping that in six months we will finally be able to start. Rainchecks just aren't as fun to wrap or receive after so many consecutive years.

Despite the lack of gifts, outtings, etc. it was still a big milestone for us. We cooked dinner together at home, just the two of us. We ate by candlelight and then went to starbucks and talked for a little while. It was certainly a humble 5th anniversary, but it was still bursting at the seams with love, devotion, and hope. We've gone through so much together over these last 7 years. I hear comments every day about teenagers getting married. Marriages that fall apart are not a result of a lack of age or experience. It's more complicated than that. But at the heart of it, it's usually a lack of God and a lack of understanding what marriage really is.

People these days, at any age, seem to think that marriage is about happiness. I have no idea where that came from, but let me set the record straight. It's not. And if you think that's what you're aiming for, you're well on your way to being a statistic. What makes a person happy changes all the time. If you're only in it for your present happiness, that's not a commitment. That would be incredibly selfish. Marriage is not about getting what you want or being happy all the time.

I can't sum it up into one pithy sentence, but the abbreviated form I can come up with is that marriage is about sacrifice. It thrives on trust, commitment, love, friendship, etc. But day in and day out it is about sacrifice. And, especially in this day and age, it impossible to do it right without God. We're not perfect. We mess up, sometimes really, really badly and He is the only one who can bring healing and second chances. Luckily God gives clear cut instructions on how to nurture a marriage, how to keep it healthy and strong, and then when you follow Him, He blesses your marriage.

Just a couple of days ago I heard that Miley Cyrus got engaged. She's 19. Everyone seems certain that it's a divorce waiting to happen. But if her relationship doesn't last, I believe it will have less to do with how old she was and more to do with how she treated her relationship, the length of time it lasts depending solely on whether it was about 1 person, two, or three.

Jon and I have had our fair share of challenges and struggles over the beginning of our relationship. But by God's grace and guidance, what could have destroyed us, and has certainly destroyed older couples, has only strengthened us. We both look to the light with hope that we can enjoy much less stress and more normalcy in the near future, but even if that doesn't happen for quite some time, or ever, we will end each day thanking God for the many blessings He has heaped on us, starting with each other.

To celebrate, here is a little walk down photo-memory lane.

 A couple of months after we started dating. At Kennywood. 2005

 At Prom- 2005

 Me with Ella. She's 3 months old here. I don't think I have any pictures of Jon and I together from this time. 2006

 Cutting the cake at our wedding. 2007

 The most modest 1st anniversary in history. Me, 2008

 Our cake 2008

 Jon 2008

See, we had just had our second daughter 2 months previously. The fact that we were both awake and (mostly) functional for our anniversary was an accomplishment in and of iteself. Here is newborn Lorelai -2008

 At our stepbrother Nate's wedding to his beautiful wife Amber. If I look red here it's because I have a 105 degree temp and I'm about to spend the next 18 hours severely dehydrated. 2009
 We went to Niagara falls to celebrate our anniversary. This was before you needed passports so it was a lot simpler. 2009

 Family vacation to Disneyworld, after our cousin Michael's wedding to another lovely bride Amanda. 2009

 We can't wait to go back!


Celebrating our sister's 21st!   2010

One of the last pictures in 2010 before we moved.

In January 2011, we moved all of our stuff into storage and moved in with family while we both went to school full time and looked for the right place. Over about 8 months, I lost the habit of taking a ton of pictures. No pictures were taken until mid summer 2011, when we moved again, but they are of the house and the girls.

Jon has brought it to my attention that since then, I primarily take pictures of my cats, or rather one bad cat in particular.


 Fat kitty 2012



 Who sleeps like this??? 2012


He may have a point. Eh well. 

Cheers to another 5 years of happiness, sadness, peace, and challenges, but most of all, someone to share it all with. I love you, Snufflekins. <3


Another major event for the month of May was one of my best friend's wedding.

 There's not a whole lot to share there since you don't know the couple personally. But I got really sick with strep or something about 2 or 3 days before the wedding. This is the second time this has happened, so I'm two for three.

I went the free route for  a day- taking Cephalexin. It made everything a LOT worse. My sinuses felt like they were on fire. So I bit the bullet and bought a Zpak. I couldn't smell or taste much, but I started to get better.

Everything happened in a frenzied rush, but Jon and I had an amazing time at the rehearsal dinner and the wedding itself. And the bride was stunning. Just stunning. We had so much fun that for the next week or so, Jon talked incessantly of wedding crashing.

I got some great ideas for future weddings of friends and family; for example, the photobooth was a smash success I think.

I kind of can't believe it's over. But I'm so happy for my friend, so excited to see how life unfolds for them in this new stage.

I'm still itchy just writing about it

So I've been thinking for weeks now that I needed to write. There's been a lot to say, but I just haven't. So tonight, though I should be going to bed early (-er anyway) I decided to do this. Naturally, I went back and read my last post to figure out where I left off.

I left off with Sienna being schooled in litterbox usage. Well things went from bad to worse. Not too long after I wrote that post, we had several nice warm days. Until we got time to reinstall the air conditioner, I just left the windows open. Oops!

Turns out, our front bedroom window had a broken screen- the left corner opened like a flap where the piping had come off. So of course, our bad kitty and one other thought this was their personal cat door to the great outdoors. Sienna and Squirrely both took off twice before I rectified the problem. Probably about a week to ten days later I found the presents they brought back: Fleas.

In my panicky state I read a lot of online information. This guy was pretty thorough so I trusted his advice. I messaged my soon-to-be Vet friend first asking for her help with Diatomaceous Earth. She had no idea what I was talking about. Not a good sign. But I went ahead and ordered a ten pound box of the stuff from Amazon and in the meantime, I spent HOURS every day flea-combing and then drowning my finds in soapy water. It was horrible. I only got bitten once, but the girls were covered in red spots, despite washing everything and vaccuuming every time I saw (or thought I saw) a flea.

Amazon had never failed me up to this point, but it took about a week for the stuff to arrive. I couldn't believe it. It was the longest week ever. I hardly got any sleep because I was convinced they were jumping on me and munching on me. Gross. While I waited for my shipment, I tried all of the other suggestions: flea traps with lights ( I was amazed that this worked, but still it only caught 3 or 4 over the course of the week), bathing the kitties (this just stopped the fleas from being able to jump. They could still zip around pretty fast though), rubbing the kitties down in baking soda (this was a substitute for the DE, but it still killed 2 or 3 to my knowledge), vaccumming constantly, washing everything, putting vaseline on the fleas to keep them from moving (this did NOT work. it clumped up the fur because I could not get close enough to the flea before it moved) and of course flea-combing every hour/every time I spotted one.

This had the most success. However I noticed the above mentioned article stated the most fleas he ever saw in a house at one time was about 30. I was pulling about 45 off EACH cat, EACH time. It was bad. Once I realized how high the numbers really were and that they were going down, but not dropping dramatically, I started to distrust his judgement a bit.

Cue Diatomaceous Earth. Luckily it arrived on a Saturday. As soon as Grandma arrived to take the girls for the day, I COVERED the house in this stuff. He says to sprinkle it low to the ground because, though it is safe to eat and touch, if you breath it in it causes lung damage. Easy enough I thought. Better than flea bombing with poison, I thought. As an adult, I can be careful, but my kids, they could be hurt by flea bombing, I thought. So I spread it around like peanut butter on toast and waited. For a couple of hours just in case. Then I started vaccumming. Oh. Boy.

Maybe it's because our vaccum is bagless. Maybe it's because it's not a Dynex. I don't know what the exact cause was, but the minute it started sucking up the DE, the filters were clogged and a mushroom cloud of lung-destroying flour exploded. Luckily I was the only one home. But it was an awful experience. There was nothing I could do about it- I had to keep washing out the filters and vaccumming. Over and over and over again. This went on for about two and a half days. Jon couldn't sleep at night because he could smell the DE. It wasn't strong, but he's sensitive to dust and dust-like things.

I do believe it worked a little- I found a couple of dead fleas on Sienna over the next couple of days, but it was NOT worth it.

Meanwhile, my Vet friend mailed me a 3 month supply of Advantage II for each of my kitties. The fleas were dropping dead within the hour. It's been about a week and a few new baby fleas are hatching, but this stuff works for 30 days. So the new ones should die before they cause any damage or lay any eggs.

Dante, who scratched himself raw, is healing and his hair is growing back, poor boy. The other kitties have stopped scratching and now that everything in the house has been washed and rewashed, things are starting to return to normal.

The moral of the story is, do not mess with DE. The guy above guessed that people use Fleabombing products because of the convenience and then they neglect to clean everything, or it ends up being more work to clean everything. I beg to differ. I will be using the flea bomb product Knockout in  the future because 1. it's what the vets recommend 2. it works 3. it works fast 4. it kills everything. It's worth it!

I'm sad that this has already consumed about 3-4 weeks of my life. But I'm relieved to be nearing the end. Now, I just have to get that screen replaced!