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Credit Where Credit is Due

“Wait, where’s Bryan?”

I went to an audition last night, and I haven’t seen .. well, most anybody since I had the baby three months ago. I kept getting questions about where Bryan was. “He’s home with the kids,” I’d say.

“Oh, babysitting,” they’d respond.

Now, to be fair, Bryan and I used to audition together. And also, it was not uncommon that we’d both be there with one or both boys. (They like sitting through theatre stuff.)

“Nope,” I’d say. “He’s such a fantastic father. You should see him, juggling the boys. He’s just an amazing dad.”

I mean that.

I work a difficult and unpredictable job. My hours often vary from 8-14 hours on any given day, usually with little notice. He’s always offered to take care of drop-off/pick-up, without any guilt trips. In fact, it’s usually one or two text messages (usually to tell me he’s getting Tiny and Connie, which is what Autocorrect believes our children are named), and it’s just done. He takes care of homework, snack, bottles, and everything. Sometimes, it’s dinner, bath, and bed before I even get home. And you know? The boys need to see that. They need to see what a good partnership really means.

When I was reading Lean In, it kept talking about how you have to ensure that you have a true partnership at home. The men should take care of some of the housework, the book coaches. They need to parent as well.

Is this really something worthy of publication? Like, this isn’t something all marriages already practice?

Now, don’t get me wrong. We still have our little eye-rolls at eachother. I leave the bathroom light on when I’m getting ready before dawn, and that bothers him. His idea of “cleaning the kitchen” is putting dishes into soak (until I can just no longer stand looking at them). He calls me a clothes hoarder; I do all of the laundry for all three of the boys. But these are SO SMALL in the grand scheme of things.

The boys see two people, madly in love. Who really enjoy each other’s company. They see a father who is actively involved in his kids, his house, and his job. They see a father who supports their mother in her career. (And they see a mother free to pursue a career!)

At the audition, someone asked me if I was happy. Bryan asks me this all the time, too.. sometimes in jest, but sometimes with sincerity.

In truth, I could not have found a better partner than I found at that Waffle House nine years ago.

And I’ll give credit where credit is due.

Comments { 6 }

Grab a Chair and Stay Awhile

Oh, guys, I’m so SORRY it’s been so long! I feel like I haven’t talked to you in AGES.

So, um, I’m a little busy lately. I mean, I’m ALWAYS busy, but lately, it really and truly feels like I never get a spare moment. Like, I’ve been getting up at 4:30 a.m. (AY-EM!) every morning so I have enough time to get stuff done. And I haven’t been running at all, which is killing my soul.

I feel like I have so much to catch you up on. Which is horrible grammar. But.

BULLETS IT IS!

  • We took a picnic on Sunday, which is JUST what the doctor ordered. The weather was gorgeous, nice and crisp and cool, and so we went up on the mountain with some Subway sandwiches and we relaxed. Tony played on the playground, Jack and Bryan threw the frisbee, and then we all went wandering down whatever path the boys chose.

  • Friday I went and got my hair did, and Hillary and I both agree that Haircut Day should be a holiday. Hillary says to follow the appointment up with book and sunshine, but I countered that a Girls’ Night Out is in order. (Because, ahem, I only look THIS good once a month!)
  • Random diversion here, but – yesterday was National Suicide Prevention Day and I meant to write something for that. There are so many resources out there for you if you are contemplating taking your own life – please PROMISE ME that you will try at least two of those before you decide the only way to go is out. Because it’s not. Don’t.
  • One thing about my life that makes me sad (boo hoo for Sarah) is that I take a LOT of pictures. Which means I’m rarely ever in them. I don’t have many pictures of me with the kids, or me with the animals, or me.. at all. Which is fine, for the most part – I’m not building a modeling portfolio – but I am sad that I don’t have many pictures of me with the kids or with family. Which is why I was over-the-moon happy that a random kind stranger made me get in the picture on Saturday night.

Thanks, Random Kind Stranger!

  • How do you smile in pictures? I.. sort of hate smiling in pictures. I hate my teeth. (I have itty bitty baby teeth.) So my smile is forced if my teeth are exposed. At my birthday luncheon, everyone was mocking Tony’s “picture smile” when Jenni pointed out that I DO IT TOO. And then this picture. Yep. It’s me. I did it to him.
  • (It’s fair to mention that I had just pounded a frozen sangria because the boys were tired of sitting in one place, so I maaaaaaay have been a little tipsy here.)
  • Ooh, here’s the Before picture.

Courtesy Bryan Comer Pics

  • Hey, wanna know what I looked like every time it was Jenni’s birthday until I was 31 older?

Someone is REALLY enjoying Momma’s birthday.

  • And, lastly, because I’m STILL SO STOKED ABOUT IT, I got a late birthday present!

I couldn’t tell you the carat weight, and it’s a blah-de-blah cut or whatever, but it’s PLATINUM, which means I have worn it almost 24/7 since Friday without a SINGLE HINT OF GREEN. Bryan also won’t tell me how much he spent on it, because since we’ve been married, he’s offered to buy me a platinum ring a couple of times, but the MONEY. Gah, we could spend the money on so many better things! Worthier things! Had he given me this ring when he proposed, I probably would’ve said no, in all honesty. I’d rather him spend that money on the kids. But he did this without asking, and it’s perfect, and I love it, and I stare at it frequently. LOVE THIS RING.

(My favorite part is that the diamond is recessed into the setting, which I initially was not a fan of, but it’s AWESOME. Doesn’t catch on ANYTHING and I don’t worry about a prong coming loose and losing the diamond.)

  • I lied. It’s not lastly. This is. Someone had a CASE OF THE MONDAYS.

 

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And Then I Wrote a Post Just as Guilty

I was in a funk last week – one of my previously discussed “blue periods” – and instead of waiting for me to come around, Bryan took charge and promptly got a babysitter.

Not only that, but he asked someone that we’ve known forever, someone who is spunky and lively and theatrical and who actually has stage combat experience, so she didn’t balk when Tony handed her a sword and called out stances to her. Which is to say – I WANT HER TO LIVE WITH US FOREVER.

Now, granted, a date night is not a guarantee that I’ll “come around” or “snap out of it” or any number of cliches regarding the end of a blue period. But having a couple minutes where I don’t feel like I have to be happy? Dude, that goes a loooooong way.

We went and had sushi and martinis, because although that’s what we ALWAYS do on date night (I wouldn’t have minded some greek fare or something the kids won’t do), there’s just something healing about miso soup. I don’t know. But there is. Also martinis: totally restorative. Hand me a lotus blossom martini and watch me come back to life, like a withering plant that just got some water.

Also, in a funny turn of events, I got to face the tv in the restaurant. There is no offense greater to me than sitting across the table from someone who is obviously more interested in the news ticker of Fox News than what I’m forming my words around. And Bryan is a repeat offender of said offense. But! He couldn’t see the tv; it was directly over his shoulder. I FELT LIKE FATE WAS ON MY SIDE.

Happy and full and slightly tipsy, we decided to go see a movie.

Bryan wanted to see The Avengers. “Why?” I asked. “No one said it was any good or anything.”

Well, FATE WAS ONCE AGAIN MY MISTRESS, and we missed the only showing that would fit into Babysitting Window of Time. But my pick, The Chernobyl Diaries, was very much dead-center of the window. YES. I WON I WON I WON.

I’m waffling between telling you Spoiler Alert! here and just plunging forward feet first because OH Y’ALL THAT MOVIE WAS AWFUL. Truly truly terrible. And I think how terrible it was can be summed up in this: I CANNOT EVEN SPOIL IT, AS THERE WAS NO CLIMAX AND/OR ENDING.

Now, I know some people did what I did initially: recoil in discomfort at the idea of monetizing the tragedy that was Chernobyl. Bryan and I both remember the event and .. yeah, not exactly pleasant memories. And is it okay to base a horror film on something that perhaps defines the word? I don’t know. I DON’T KNOW, SO QUIT ASKING ME.

To their credit, they did not exploit or poke fun at or even really explain at all. They referenced the nuclear plant as almost a distant cousin, twice removed, where you’re not even sure you got her name right when you’re addressing the invite for the family reunion. The number of visible reactors even varied as the movie went on. So worry not; survivors may as well be watching a movie based in Wisconsin, is what I’m saying here.

About thirty minutes into the movie, I settled into the very routine and predictable premise, but hoped that there was still room for redemption. Aaaaaaand about that point, the movie assumes everyone watching it is stupid. Very, very stupid, but perhaps high or drunk so they won’t leave. (We were the latter.)

Bryan and I were so upset at this movie that we were ANGRY when we left. We sat through the credits, disbelieving that 1) we paid for this crap and 2) that was Jessie McCartney?! We wrote no less than four better endings as we stomped out of the theater and directly to Bruster’s for ice cream.

(Yes, tally-makers, I am still dairy-free. BUT IT WAS DATE NIGHT.)

(Also, I totally paid for it later.)

We stayed up late, way late, discussing how incredibly awful the movie was, and researching everything we could about the production aspect of it. We anticipated the MST3K viewing of the movie. We hated it. HATED IT, THREE SNAPS IN A Z FORMATION. I love horror movies like no one else I know – I LOVE them, seriously – and this made me angry. ANGRY.

It was an awesome date.

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Can’t Stop at the Finish Line.

For Bryan’s birthday (aka Memorial Day to the uneducated), we spent a day lazily wandering around, napping as we felt like it, and gorging on platters of splendor. OH HAHA JUST KIDDING, BECAUSE WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO BE LAZY.

We got up at 6:30 to start preparing for the race. Tony and I had done some prep work the night before as well:

And Bryan must be Tony’s favorite parent because he gifted Bryan’s sign with a portrait of Beekey:

(You’ll notice Beekey’s “hairs” on top of her head. She looks like a Kewpie doll to me.)

And we met Aunt Gee and Dude at a Starbucks for pre-race child-swapping.

Where Aunt Gee and Dude totally geared Tony up with a breakfast of champions.

And then off we went!

Of course, since there were roughly 2k people running our race, it was a LEEEETLE crowded when we got there, but through determination (and me ditching Bryan), I was able to find my running group. (Said Bryan, before I ditched him, “I’m not walking anymore. I’m staying here.” I was like Yes, Lord forbid you WALK before the 5k you’re about to RUN. ANYWAY.) There had been tales of pace-markers for this race, folks with tall signs that would rise above the throng and tell us where to stay in the pack. Alas, they were indeed only fables, because no mythical pace-markers appeared. So we hoped that staying in the middle would work out for us. I still couldn’t find Bryan. (I had ditched him GOOD.)

The race began and I hung with Alicia and Katie for a good bit, but the heat. OH THE HEAT, Y’ALL. It was easily 90+ when the race began, with not a SINGLE FREAKING CLOUD IN THE SKY, and .. y’all know I now avoid sunscreen like the plague. (Unless you’re reading this, Dr. Tim! Then I swear I SLATHER MYSELF IN IT FROM HEAD TO TOE.) So about 1.5 miles in, I had to walk more than I ran.

But! Before we got to that point, Bryan found us! So, as is our way, we made a point of humiliating the birthday boy through song. The funny thing about “Happy Birthday” is that everyone knows it, so it’s kind of a reflex. You hear someone singing, so you join in. Soon, all the runners around us were joining in AS WE RAN and Bryan blushed and ran faster to get away from us.

BRYAN BLUSHED, Y’ALL. Never ever. This is the guy who let me take a picture of him in women’s show choir dresses.

(I guess he’s getting shy in his old age.)

Anyway, I finally made it across the finish line. (I made this STUPID ASS mantra up as I ran: Run in the sun, delayed in the shade. Because I’m apparently Rainman and need rhymes to remind me to get out of the sun.) My time was crap, but Bryan made a great time, and finished his first 5K AND my whole family turned out to hold signs and cheer him in.

(This was about the time that Tony started telling Dude he needed to pee. Which is awesome. Nothing like a little preschooler urine to cool you off.)(He didn’t ACTUALLY pee.)

After everyone made it in (me being the last, OBVIOUSLY, because why would I finish a race with a decent time, right?), the family headed to brunch while Bryan and I ran home to get the cake and presents.

We had a delicious brunch at Cracker Barrel, and there is no food more delicious than your after race celebratory meal. I’m pretty sure you could be served cold canned dog food and you’d be like YES, THIS IS THE BEST EVER CAN I HAVE SECONDS?

Post cookie-cake – because Bryan really is 12 at heart – we all headed north to pick up Jack for the rest of the day’s festivities. We had a surprise for him for his birthday (next weekend) that we were going to go look at.

See, for years now, I’ve been nudging Bryan into considering a ball python. I LOVE SNAKES and thought that it’d be a cool pet. Way cooler than, say, a STUPID CAT. But instead, we kept getting STUPID CATS. But then! Then we met VooDoo the snake. VooDoo was raised by a family that we know through theatre (he was actually IN a show with Aunt Gee and Dude several years ago), and since all of their kids are in or leaving for college, we asked if VooDoo needed a new home! And he did! So I WON!

We head north to pick up Jack and learn .. oh, they got a new puppy. NAMED VOODOO.

(Y’all, I shit you not. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES.)

So we’re all like, “Okay, yeah! Your puppy is really cool! (.. seriously, SUPER cute puppy.) Huh. Well.. um..” and we didn’t know where to go. Still do the snake thing? Are we stealing thunder? I DON’T KNOW. We debated and headed back to the house for a while. Where Jack promptly fell asleep. Yes, this day was going SWIMMINGLY.

After ten minutes of POKING JACK WITH A STICK TO WAKE UP, we headed to VooDoo’s house. They were having a barbeque, and as is their hospitality-ess (?) ways, the boys were promptly handed a hot dog and pointed to the trampoline. Which was the first hour of silence I’d had in probably five days.

(Tony has hit this mental spurt where – not even exaggerating – he NEVER STOPS TALKING. ALL THE TIME.)

So Jack was excited about VooDoo the snake. And with the blessing of the family, we agreed to rename the snake. And we loaded the snake up. And took the snake home. AND I AM SO THRILLED. Here’s Cain, our new baby:

Then we ate dinner and took Jack home. And .. I noticed it was really quiet in the car. Like, I could hear myself think. Sure enough..

I sighed deeply, happy at the silence, but also happy that it’s so often filled with chatter and laughter and squeals and tales.

Bryan and I held hands the entire drive home.

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Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s .. Still Young at Heart.

When we first started dating, we wrote each other stories.

They were kind of our way of introducing the vast lives we’d had before we met. And some of the stories were emo, drunken ramblings. Some of them were .. ahem .. adult in nature.

(Sidenote: this is why I feel I can rightly say that this 50 Shades of Grey book is pure bunk. Women, it’s OKAY to like erotica. It’s okay to like 50 Shades of Grey. There is some damn good erotica out there. DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THIS SERIES IS THE PENULTIMATE, BECAUSE IT IS NOT. As a published and award-winning author of erotica, I am angered at this being labeled “mommy porn”, as if we must be dumbed-down or sugar-coated. BITE ME, MEDIA.)

Um. Sorry. This is about Bryan.

Damn, I got all fired up about that erotica bit that I forgot where I was going.

One of the reasons I love being married to Bryan: I have these tangents all the time and he never .. well, maybe, rarely .. gets upset about them.

The biggest reason I love being married to Bryan: HE MAKES ME LAUGH.

You know how you have a night out with your friends and you come home, all woozy and satiated with love and your sides hurt from all the laughing? It’s like living with that. 24/7. It’s pretty amazing, truth be told. It’s a safe bet that at least twice a week, there has been some point where I’ve crammed my knees together to keep from peeing on myself from laughing so hard, or he’s gone into a wheezing fit where he can’t catch his breath for the laughter. It’s commonplace here.

Kids learn what they live. Our kids take Bryan’s good-nature to a new level. Big belly laughs echo through our tiny house. Our tiny house seems at once too small and yet cavernous; filled to the brim with both love and laughter. We all take our ribbings, we give them as well, but we are quick to hug. Slow to anger. Because that’s Bryan.

The hottest men out there are hot because they believe that you cannot be too silly. You may question that, but I give you Jon Hamm as my defense. Also Jake Gyllenhal. My new crush, Ryan Gosling. They all believe that being light-hearted and goofy make you a better person. AND THEY ARE RIGHT.

No one who knows Bryan would honestly believe he’s turning 40 this weekend, because this is a guy who still wants pancakes for breakfast, who hides toys in sexual positions inside your cabinets, who watches anime. He is still SUCH a kid.

And he keeps me young for it.

So here’s to my young old man, who is running his first 5k on his birthday to commemorate aging gracefully – or not at all. I love him more than my luggage, and boy howdy, does he make my parachute yellow. Happy Birthday, Bryan. Good times.

1. All the boys on the couch., 2. He Rocks an Infantile Hat., 3. The Comer Boys, 4. Always Performing, That One., 5. IMG_4592.JPG, 6. IMG_2378, 7. Cooking in the Rain, 8. 2011-01-17 21.03.52, 9. Getting old? HATED IT., 10. Bryan believes 2012 is “the year of the duck lips”. Yeah, cause 2011 was lacking., 11. Dude has to show me up in EVERYTHING., 12. 11/Twenty, 13. IMG_2173, 14. I Wish This was Staged., 15. Multimedia message, 16. 2011-04-29 18.01.48, 17. 12/Twenty Eight, 18. 3/Twenty Two, 19. 3962193105_59cb464b97, 20. 4/Eleven, 21. READY TO GET COLORFUL!, 22. One word: UNLESS., 23. 5/Three, 24. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! Love, Gonzo Does American Horror Story, 25. He Be So Hott.

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