Saturday, September 9, 2017

What Do You Love About Your Spouse?

A couple weeks ago, I was caught off guard when someone asked me the question "what do you love about Brian?"

I'm a really good talker when I can mentally prepare my script in advance, but in this moment there were crickets. Surely there is something I love about the person I married, so I stumbled my way through what I assumed would be an acceptable answer.

As I was driving in the car later that day, it came to me.

I love that Brian knows I don't eat subs for dinner.

Two months ago, as I was standing over the stove cooking dinner and casually chatting with my mother-in-law and our friend Rob, our conversation turned to food and what we liked to cook for dinner. Rob said "I usually just pick up Jersey Mike's."

That's when Brian chimed in and said "Kelly doesn't eat subs for dinner."

I almost had a heart attack right there on the spot.

My husband, Brian Strawberry, who didn't notice a huge blob of green paint on the wall of our house for three years, knows that I don't eat subs for dinner.

It meant nothing to anyone else that day, but to me, it meant the world.

In all our years together, he's noticed that I keep subs reserved for lunchtime.
(I mean, they strictly belong in the lunch category, am I right?)

I hope that everyone has someone like that in their life, because it feels really good to be known.

Brian, thanks for surprising me that day and making me feel loved. I bet you didn't know it was that easy.

Monday, May 22, 2017

On the Eve of My Thirtieth Birthday

Tomorrow I turn thirty.
Holy smokes.

I can't decide if my thirties are going to be characterized by one-piece bathing suits and bags under my eyes, or if this is going to be my decade of hotness.

I'm really gonna shoot for the latter.

...which just reminded me of Chutes and Ladders, one of my favorite childhood games.

That moment when you land on space 28. Holla!

To my surprise, turning thirty has been a hard pill to swallow. This is the first birthday where I remember feeling trepidation. I'm pretty sad about leaving my twenties behind and panicked that each year seems to be moving faster and faster.

I took a class called "Life Stories" during the spring of my senior year of college. I also took Yoga and Golf that year, which might explain why I give Brian a strange look every time he mentions putting money into our son's 529 account.

I mean, is college really necessary?  You tell me.

(It was Advanced Yoga.)

Our final assignment in Life Stories was to write three essays about where we saw ourselves in ten years. We had to imagine three potential lives that were all different yet reasonable. Where were we living? What did we do after we woke up? Who were we with? What was on our nightstand? That sorta thing.

I think I wrote two really good essays. In one essay, I was single, and thirty, and living in good ole Mebane, North Carolina in a brick ranch house on Bason Road with my dogs and my truck, and working as an English teacher at the local high school.

In the second essay, I was single, and thirty, and living in Honduras and working as an English teacher abroad.

I must have really wanted to be an English teacher. And be single, apparently.

I can't remember my third essay, but knowing myself fairly well, I likely wrote something smart like "I died."

(Remember this was the spring semester of my senior year. Motivation was minimal.)

So those were my ideas of where I thought I would be back when I was a senior in college, but alas, here I am now and I am none of those things.

It was a great learning assignment because I learned I know nothing about what the next ten years will hold, and that even my best guess is a crapshoot.

It wasn't what I predicted, but my twenties were a blast.

As I enter into my thirties, my goals for this upcoming decade are to be more relaxed (a challenge when you have children, but doable) and to be more kind (always doable).

And just a final reminder for myself -

Don't waste good moods and sunny days.

Here's to this next decade. You have a tough act to follow.
So long, twenties.
It's been real. :)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Our Story - Part 4 (4th and Final Chapter)

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Even after creating the MySpace profile, nothing happened. I stayed busy with school and my job, so I'm not really sure how much time had passed before our next interaction. I think it was Fall of 2008 at the Mill Creek Invitational.

I remember it well. I was standing in the pro-shop talking to my boss Adam. I had probably just finished driving the beer cart that afternoon, and there's always a dinner and after-party for the Invitational on Saturday night. In walk Jason and Steph to the clubhouse, followed by Brian...and some blonde chick!

(I'm not sure "chick" is the most accurate word to describe her, but you know what, I'm working on being a nicer person.)

It was very clear to me that they were a couple. I was introduced to his girlfriend like it was no big deal. (WTF, I created a MySpace profile for you!)

In Brian's defense, it really was no big deal. Nothing had ever happened between us. I had rejected his attempts to go on a date and I never admitted to liking him, so he probably didn't find it awkward at all that he was there with his girlfriend.

(There's a lesson to be learned here. The best way to get someone to like you? Get someone else to like you.)

I had to work the party that evening, serving dinner and drinks to the guests. It was a pretty humbling experience having to serve dinner to Brian and his new girlfriend and also bus the tables after they finished eating.

I wonder if Brian remembers that night.

During our forced moments of interaction that evening, I still remember there being chemistry between us, just like there was the first day we met.

Over the course of the next several months, I didn't see Brian at Mill Creek anymore. It was my senior year at Elon. I would occasionally ask Stephanie about him when the topic would come up. "We're going to Vegas with Strawberry," she told me one day in the pro-shop. "Oh, how's he doing?" I asked.

He was still dating that same chick. She told me her and Jason thought that this girl was "the One" and that he was going to marry her.

I never asked about Strawberry again after that.

In June 2009, I sat down at my computer one night and had a Facebook Friend Request.

Brian Straw.

I accepted.

Relationship Status: Single

Hmmm...I guess that chick wasn't "the One" after all!

Thankfully Facebook has kept documentation of our lives ever since.

I had been babysitting for the Phillips kids that summer, and I remember we had just gotten home from the pool that afternoon when I checked my Facebook and had a message from Brian:

On July 23, 2009, I invited him to the Wooden Nickel in Hillsborough, and as you already know.... 

The rest is history.

If anything, I hope this story goes to show you that God's timing is always perfect. I thought Brian was going to marry someone else not once, but TWICE, during the two years before we went on our official first date. 

I've put up with a lot of crap over these past ten years (and so has Brian!!!), but I am so thankful for my best friend, and thankful that I have this story to tell.

Monday, April 3, 2017

April Goals

Life begins where your comfort zone ends. One of my favorite quotes and my motto for this month.

I have a lot to look forward to for April and a lot that I am nervous about! I get the opportunity to attend my first work conference here in Raleigh for two days this week. I'm excited because it looks like a great lineup of events and speakers, but I'm also a little anxious because I will not know anybody there. I'm leaving the conference early on Thursday to head over to Duke Raleigh to attend a Board of Directors meeting that evening. Busy week. To top it all off, I'm taking my very first Burn Bootcamp class tomorrow morning at 5 AM. Yikes!!

I finally ran out of excuses for postponing Burn Bootcamp. Brian is so sick of hearing about Burn Bootcamp. He told me tonight I have two choices: Either go to Burn Bootcamp or stop talking about Burn Bootcamp.

He's out shooting pool tonight, but I texted him regarding Burn Bootcamp just so he feels right at home.

Goals for the Month:

1) Continue #21earlydays

2) Finish the 4th and final installment of our pre-dating days on the blog

3) Finish reading The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair

4) Plan something for Brian's birthday!