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Great stuff

February 14, 2013

Yes, this is another love story on Valentine’s Day. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty darn good.

My husband, Ryan, and I attended high school together. I remember catching him staring at me with his mouth slightly open (which I now know is a habit of his and not a sign of interest) in one of the few classes we attended together as underclassmen. You see, I was a straight A student who only took Honors courses and he was, well, I’m not even sure if he was in the right classroom at the time.

We never dated in high school. He was too immature. He had a girlfriend, a cheerleader, and one day they decided to part ways. Subsequent girls liked him, but I was never that enamored by him or his antics. The only thing that impressed me was the way he played basketball.

Standing only 5’10” (5’11” with shoes on he would argue), he could shoot from ridiculous distances and frustrate defenders as they attempted to strip the ball from him. I cheered like a maniac from the student section every time he…eerrrr their team…played. In summary, he was fun to watch but much too cocky for me. Not at all relationship material. Upon graduation, I heard he was heading off to college to play football (typical).

I, on the other hand, was focused. I dated my first real love for 3 out of those 4 years. He was a fellow Honors student. He played soccer, which I never really understood, and had dreams of becoming a doctor. He went off to college and I to another, both having similar goals to succeed. Separate places ended up separating us.

Ryan re-entered my life after the breakup. He and a football teammate of his decided to stop by the campus where I lived and took classes. Fairly confident his buddy was in hot pursuit of a friend-with-benefits (there really is no politically correct way to say that). As a result, I answered the phone when Ryan called from the lobby of my dorm.

That phone call turned into countless more phone calls.

I don’t think we even considered our first date an actual date, more of an opportunity to just hang out. I remember walking out of a movie that we both agreed was awful (To Die For) and ending up on a picnic table talking for hours under the night sky. I kept thinking, “This guy actually has a lot to say. Hhmmm…who knew?”

I remember the moment that he slyly slipped his arm behind me when I sat back to relax. I remember him dropping me back off to the dorm that night. We stood outside as he told me what a great time he had. We agreed to go out again…soon.

And then we kissed for the first time in between nervous bouts of giggling.

I kept wondering how my kiss measured up to the countless others he had. I played it cool as I proceeded to enter the building without looking back at him.

I let out a little scream as the elevator doors closed on my way up to my floor.

I later learned he waited until he was out of sight around the building to run back to his car like a kid hopped up on sugar.

(fast forward many, many years)

He often leaves a comment after my blog posts on that simply reads, “Great stuff.”

I couldn’t think of a better way to describe our journey together. Love you babe.



Baby #1

Baby #1

Baby #2

Baby #2

Baby #3

Baby #3

Created by Heidi Woodard

I started a tradition when my boys were very young. We would pack lunches on the weekend and walk a trail together at Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue.

This trail led us through a canopy of trees, across railroad tracks, and ended along the riverside where we would spread out a blanket and enjoy a picnic and random conversation. Once we were done eating and solving worldly issues, we would retrace our steps before collapsing exhausted back into our car and heading home.

Over the next several years, the trail was the only thing that stayed the same. The two boys matured and welcomed a little sister to the mix. The car became a minivan. The mom became less stressed (well, technically, the mom shifted her stress to a whole new batch of stuff).

Life was good.

But as the famous book Love you forever by Robert Munsch so eloquantly describes, “That little boy grew. And he grew and he grew and he grew.”

And in my oldest’s son’s case, that little boy grew monster feet and an even bigger attitude.

After listening to nonstop complaining about his heat-induced headache, how he didn’t like the bugs, and how he couldn’t suffer one more step, I looked at my oldest and threatened that this would be the last time he made the trek with us. His response hit me like a ton of bricks…


He is stubborn like his father and thinks he’s right all the time like me.

So what’s a mom to do but allow him to be him? To change with the seasons and float wherever the wind takes him?

I still have two more children who generally think the Earth revolves around me. They enjoy doing activities with me and with each other.

So why is it so hard to swallow the fact that I can no longer force HIM to enjoy what I do? He is becoming his own man before my very eyes and I am both proud and mournful.

He said to all of us that day, “I would rather be different than like everyone else.”

And I knew exactly what he meant.

I just wanted HIM to be like ME for a little while longer.

Is that too much to ask?


Created by Heidi Woodard