Saturday, March 29, 2014

Week 32 or "The Sweetest Thing"

 First, you'll have to forgive me: solemnity isn't exactly my thing. I'm usually the bad kid, making a smart ass joke under my breath during the meeting.
This is what happens when I try to be serious.
And I'm the first to point out a spelling error, especially in a big, permanent mural at a Christian college :)

But there is one thing I'm pretty serious about – my wonderful husband. :)
This is the face of a man who is serious about marching band.
I met Russell at the most romantic of venues: The Szechuan Garden chinese restaurant on Chapman Highway. It was an inservice day before the school year began. He was student teaching with our band department. I don't remember much about that meeting, except that South Knox chinese is no bueno.

When I first thought to myself “Huh. This guy is kind of cool” was in the band room at school. We were all eating lunch and Russell commented that he loved to bake. Now, my dad was the chef in our family growing up, so this comment made my ears perk up a little. Also, I love baked goods, naturally.
I love you, pastries.
As I got to know Russell, I realized just how much he had in common with my dad. They're both serious when it's important but also know how to have fun. They both cook. They're both musicians. And as I was raised by one of the finest men on the planet, seeing these qualities in Russell made me pretty curious about him.

Long story short, we started dating the following New Year's Eve, through a chance meeting at a local bar where we were seeing the same band play. A couple drinks, a couple bluegrass songs, and we were inseperable. We dated for a year and a half before getting engaged during a trivia game at Mellow Mushroom.

Beer taps: the perfect background for your proposal picture

A year later, under a big, beautiful tree in the country, we were married. This June will mark 4 years of what I can honestly call wedded bliss.

Russell isn't just a nice guy. He's the nicest. He is honest, to a fault. Once, his car got broken into during a very unfortunate 2 day lapse in our insurance. I basically begged him to tell the insurance adjustor it happened before our coverage ran out, but he wouldn't do it. Another time, a furniture store undercharged us by a few hundred dollars for our, already very expensive, couch. I was like, “Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me”. Russell turned around, walked back in the store, and told the clerk what had happened. He didn't want someone to lose their job over a mistake. Like I said, he's irritatingly honest. :)

He's an incredibly hard worker, especially as a teacher. When something goes wrong at school, he hems and haws all evening. He goes in early, every day, to give extra help to his middle schoolers. He would never miss a high school football game or a band competition, even though he doesn't receive a stipend for either. He even took a class last summer on drill writing and then wrote his own band's drill. He didn't ask for a dime for it, telling me “It will save our program a lot of money if we don't have to pay someone else to do this.”

On the roof, workin' hard.
He's easy going and low drama. I've never heard him raise his voice in anger. We've had about 3 “fights”, the longest lasting maybe half an hour. He “handles” me -all my super fun, controlling, crazy, emotional tendencies – with care. This is clich√©, but he actually makes me a better person. I think he's hilarious. I genuinely love spending time with him and miss him when we're apart.

He is my greatest gift and I am totally undeserving.

The other day, Russell turned to me in the car and asked me if I thought he'd be a good father. I could barely get the right words out fast enough. I don't think he'll be a good father. I know he'll be a great father. I know this because I have a great father, so I know what one looks like and he's it.

And lastly, I know that some of my former students and church kids read this blog, so I want to take the opportunity to say this to you, girls especially: I met Russell when I was 27, which is basically the age you are deemed a crazy old maid in the south. Oh, and I had 2 cats, so that didn't help. Before him, I had a handful of serious relationships, but none of them panned out. I remember telling God, many, many times, that I was ready to meet my husband. Begging Him to go ahead and send the guy. I felt like I'd waited forever and I couldn't do it anymore. I wondered if God really knew how much I wanted to be married, or if this whole “May He grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your plans” line was full of crap. :)

Russell is 4 years younger than me. If I'd met him when I was, say, 22, he would have been 18. I probably won't have given him a second look.

If I'd met him when I was 25, he would have just turned 21. A 21 year old frat boy. Not what I thought I wanted in a husband.

In the end, God knew exactly when we should meet. He was always in charge. And honestly, knowing now how wonderful it is to be married to the right man, I would have waited until I was 77. The right guy (or girl) is out there and, dang it, they are SO worth waiting for. So, be patient and don't settle. It's all gonna work out. :)
Also, he's an award winning wing chef. And very excited about it.

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