Category: Bill

This guy…

… is fifty today.

Going on fifteen.

All the love in the universe, baby. Forever and ever. Happy Birthday.

(WICKED photo-heavy post! We’ve had such a great life together.)

Flagstaff, July of ’13.

Bar Harbor Maine, June ’13.

Renaissance Fair, March ’13.

With Amanda in Yellowstone, July ’12.

Jeepin’ January of ’12.

Jeepin’ December of ’11.

Santa Fe, October ’11.

Home, July ’11.

Prescott, with Robert, May of ’11.

MotoGP, Indy, August ’10.

Cadillac Mountain, Bar Harbor ME, July ’10.

Flagstaff, April ’10.

With Amanda and Joss, November ’09.

Flagstaff, June ’09.

Flagstaff, June ’09.

Aspen, August ’09

Cody, WY. August ’09.

With Heather in Chicago, April ’09

Beer festival in Mesa, November ’08.

Dark Horse, March ’08.

Christmas Lobsters! December ’07.

At House of Tricks before the ASU game. September ’07.

Portland Oregon, July ’07

Boothbay Maine, May ’07

Sedona, March ’07

Sleeping off Christmas, with Robert, December ’06.

Tucson, September ’06.

Down with underpants! Whistler, December ’05.

Feeding baby Devlin. December ’05.

With baby Robert, Spring ’04.

Maui, June of ’03.

Our wedding, June of ’02.

With our friend Dawn, June of ’01.

Camping at Big Lake. July ‘of ’01.

San Diego, October ’99.

Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Summer of ’99

One of our first photos together, when I took him home to Maine to meet my family. September of ’98.

Desert sunset
Desert sunset

Blessed

It really isn’t hard to remind myself of how blessed I am. Even in the midst of a crappy week or two (and I had an EPICALLY crappy week a couple of weeks ago) I look around me and struggle to count my blessings not because I can’t identify them, but because there are so many of them.

Two in particular have been resonating with me on a near-constant basis as of late. The first, of course, being my relationship with Bill. Now, I am a great lover of romance, and the number of romance novels in my collection rivals the number of science fiction and fantasy. There isn’t a whole heck of a lot of romance between Bill and myself – for all that I love the idea of romance, my pragmatic side is in the forefront most of the time. Romance and pragmatism are diametrically opposed. And Bill is… well, Bill. A great husband, sometime deliverer of warm-fuzzy bombs, but not so much a hearts and flowers kind of guy. Which isn’t to say there hasn’t been any romance at all in our relationship, it just happened early on, during the time when Bill was “still required to impress me” (his words, not mine).

What we have is constancy. The dictionary definition is so much the desired culmination of romance, as to be romantic in and of itself:

The quality of being unchanging or unwavering, as in purpose, love, or loyalty; firmness of mind; faithfulness.

THAT, my friends, is what Bill and I have. And I am blessed beyond measure because of it.

The second blessing I’m counting today is friendship. I don’t have a vast army of friends. I have a finely distilled selection of quality friends who are ALSO constant. I don’t see them all the time, I don’t communicate with them all the time, and occasionally we fall off of one another’s radar for a not-short period. But when we do reconnect there is no judgement – on either side – about lack of communication. I know I’m in their hearts, they know they’re in mine. That’s how friendship works.

I’m feeling grateful for two friends in particular today, for no specific reason other than I love them. One is my good friend Aaron (formerly known on this site as “Archibael”), with whom I have been friends since we both started working at AcronymCo back in 1995. You may recall such epic entries as this one, or this one. If you’ve REALLY been paying attention you may recall that Aaron helped name this website. Anyway. Our friendship suffered some distance, due entirely to the fact that Aaron’s ex-wife is an unpleasant, judgey individual. She did NOT approve of my relationship with Bill, therefore cut HER friendship off with me and pretty much expected Aaron to do the same. So, though we communicated at work, had some fun e-mail exchanges and occasionally dropped by one another’s desks for a chat, we didn’t hang out. I knew things weren’t great, life-wise, for Aaron. He’s not one to burden his friends, though, so I offered him a shoulder if he needed it but that was all I could do.

Then, about a year ago, he contacted me to let me know that he was getting a divorce. Much celebration ensued. And THEN he got a new girlfriend, Michelle. More celebration ensued. Then we MET Michelle. And I met the twin sister of my heart. She has become one of my closest friends. On top of the fact that she’s awesome in her own right, she makes Aaron very happy. AND we get to all hang out together and do really fun stuff. It’s like I got a long-lost friend back, with an added bonus bestie to boot.

Last Friday we all got together to have a special dinner in celebration of my graduation. We went to a restaurant so fancy that they actually put my NAME on the menu. They’d asked when I made the reservation if we were celebrating anything, and I told them about getting my degree.

menu

(Click to enlarge, and let’s hear it for crappy cell phone pictures!)

The food was truly exquisite, but it was the company that made it a celebration. We all got all dressed up, had a fancy dinner, went to Tonic (our neighborhood bar) and listened to a good band… it was all terribly grown-up of us. And so much fun!

So yes, I am grateful. For Bill, for Aaron and Michelle, for all of my other friends both near and distant, for my family members both near and distant, and for the online community of friends with whom I have shared so much over the past going-on-thirteen years.

Warm fuzzies for everyone!

A Valentine’s Day PDA

Long-time readers may recall that I write my husband Bill a Valentine’s letter every year. I haven’t missed a single year since I started in 1998, so this year makes letter number fifteen. All of those years were pretty great, though of course some years were better than others. I’ve even written him Valentine’s letters when I was out and out PISSED at him. I’ve thought, “Nope, I’m not writing one this year. Too freakin’ bad.” Then relented in the days or weeks leading up to the holiday, and still managed to write something meaningful and loving. See, not only am I a sucker for continuity and tradition, I’m also a sucker for this guy.

Usually I’ll write it in a Word document, bordered with pretty pink hearts, print it out and give it to him before he heads to work on Valentine’s day. He’ll read it, usually somewhere where I can’t watch him, them come give me a hug with a sheepish grin on his face. It’s really sweet, which is saying something because, Bill? Well, “sweet” doesn’t typically come to mind when thinking of words to describe him. Fun, generous, loyal, funny, responsible, principled, capable, smart, and sexy… but not what I’d call “sweet”. Except when I bring it out in him, or inspire him to sweetness. Which makes those occasions extra-special.

This year I wanted to do something a little different and put my note to him (well, “about him”, as it’s turning out to be this go-around) on-line. You see, I’m crazy mad about this guy. Again, long-time (and short-time, and first-time) readers know this EXTREMELY well. I used to write about my warm fuzzies for Bill a lot. A LOT a lot. Tons, even. Just because I haven’t as much in recent years doesn’t mean I no longer feel that way. I just figured there were only so many entries of “ZOMG I lurrrrrve him” that my readers would put up with.

Looks like you’re going to have to put up with one more.

When you’ve been with someone for a long time (eleven years married and fifteen together, this year) you forget that the other person doesn’t automatically know what you’re thinking and feeling. So we’ve kind of gotten out of the habit of being overt about our feelings for one another. That we love each other tremendously often goes unspoken. It’s kind of a “duh” thing – automatic and ever present to the point of being ubiquitous. Dangerously close to being taken for granted, sometimes. Then when one or the other of us expresses some concern at some perceived distance between us, the other is all, “Huh? I’m right here. I still feel the same way. Nothing has changed.”

See, mind reading would come in handy on occasion. Not EVERY occasion, else Bill says I’d run screaming from him in horror at the inner workings of his brain. I believe him.

Our relationship is cozy and comfortable. It’s a forever thing so guaranteed that it’s like light, or air – surrounding, supportive, necessary and essential, the absence of which doesn’t even cross the mind as a possibility. Being with Bill is as comfortable as being by myself, by which I mean that there are no guards, no affectations, no changing of hats or switching of faces. I just am, and he just is, and we’re just us.

It’s easy. Except when it isn’t. Bill and I have a lot in common, but also some things not so much in common. Those non-commonalities are hardly ever an issue, and are usually related to a difference in our moods at the time. Even when it’s NOT easy, the underlying descant of love can be heard, felt, seen. We may yell, or freeze each other out. We may go for a few days being stiflingly polite to one another. We’re not always particularly kind to one another. But I know I can stop in mid-holler (in fact, I have) and say, “Hey, I love you, you know.” And he might holler back, “I love you too, dammit.” And then I’ll crack a smile, and he’ll roll his eyes and grin. More often than not, one of us makes the other laugh in mid-argument. Doesn’t mean the argument’s over, but it does remind us that our argument is happening within a secure place.

For all that we’ve been together for so long, and have had our fair share of arguments, fighting is still a pretty alien thing for us. It throws us off-balance, left from center, and we’re just not good at staying mad at each other. It’s hard to stay mad at him, when every thought and experience that I have I want to share with him. He’s my best friend. The best moments are when we turn to each other in perfect accord, with a sudden realization of how great our lives are, and pause for a second to just bask.

A forever relationship, when properly built, allows us to lean on it when we need to. We don’t have to hold it up and we know we can rely on our foundation – our incredibly strong foundation – to get us through the times when more erosion is happening than building. But each time we build again, which happens with every lovely memory and every shared positive moment, we build stronger and higher. At this point we’re pretty darned palatial.

So. I love him. It’s as simple and as complicated as that. I think I’ll tell him, and show him, more often.

———-

And now, a subject-related musical interlude:

Followed by some (a very small random sampling) of Bill’s Greatest Hits:

- I let myself fall
- It was awesome, and then I cried
- Blessed
- Joyful hand holders
- Life is lived in moments
- The Wedding
- Never Enough
- Happy Little Entry
- There and back again
- Red rocks, creek obsession, and thee
- The story of how “Calvin” and I came to be. Prologue, part one, editorial note, part two, part three, part four, part five, part six, and epilogue

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